...waiting... (photo by Alex, used with permission)
Last week Alex and I went out on a school night to see Regina Spektor play at the Tivoli theatre. Doors opened at 6:30pm, and since it was a Monday night we assumed the gig would start around 7. How wrong we were. The old theatre grew stale with people as we waited an hour and a half for the support act to come on. We passed the time playing with the camera and chatting to the folks around us, including uber fan-boy and his unyeilding BO. We were tired, our feet ached and our noses threatened to strike, yet we did not move, for I had staked a spot as close as I could get with a clear line of sight to Regina's piano. The collective impatience was palpable, and then a small man, a boy really, with Tom Baker hair and an accoustic guitar emerged stage left. He instroduced himself as Only Son and strummed out 20 minutes of pleasant tunes to the accompanyment of his iPod, then told us a stream-of-conciousness story about a koala.
Only Son rocks the Tom Baker 'do'
Another wait ensued, but only half an hour or so, then a face with a mischevous smile poked out from behind a curtain. The audience got a wee bit excited and Regina Spektor hobbled out, supported by a fancy black cane. My view of the stage disappeared as people pushed in and my smaller stature gave them the advantage. I'm bigger than Regina though: she's quite short, and remarkably beautiful and gracious (even when she's being naughty). She introduced herself, apologised for being high on pain killers, showed off her cane and arduously limped to the piano. Once seated, all appearance of fragility vanished. When she plays the piano she is suddenly bigger, stronger, more vibrant. Her quiet voice and shy mannerisms vanish and there she is, in glorious voice and completely present. In short, she is wonderful.
Regina shows off her cane
The show contained a good mix of material from all her albums, at least once you included the encore. Twice, I think, Regina embarked from the piano for the guitar, via a treatcherous walk across the stage. We (the audience) would have been happier if the roadie had carried her (she's small enough), rather than wincing in sympathy at every step, but she made the trip without incident each time. She slowly exited at the end of her set, only to return for the encore.
She pulls the greatest photos when she sings
The show was excellent. All her pieces were performed flawlessly, with the exception of a stumble in "Us
" in her encore. Not bad for a girl high on pain killers. A show well worth catching, should you get the chance. More photos ( behind the cut. )