On Monday, March 6, I had the opportunity to see Regina Spektor live for the first time. It was an incredible show.
I’ve loved Spektor’s music for more than a decade; she appears on multiple soundtracks and scores and her music has inspired countless fanworks. I’ve been quoting her lyrics at people and putting her songs onto mixtapes for what feels like forever. When the opportunity arose to go see her live, I couldn’t pass it up — not even when poor Reed was too sick to go with me.
Going to a concert alone is always a weird experience and I’ve only done it twice (not including the time my friend nearly blacked out in the pit at a Paramore show and I ended up going the rest of the show alone while she sat at the bar with seltzer and crackers). Last night, it was surprisingly nice. I was able to just sink into the music and enjoy myself, without having to worry about another person.
Not that I don’t love my favorite human/concert buddy. But I digress.
There was no opening act, so when Spektor and her band took the stage, the sense of anticipation was really high. She opened with “On the Radio”, which was fun and bouncy, and it hit me in the first verse that her voice sounds even better live than it does recorded. All of the weird little sound effects in her songs that I always assumed were instruments or computers are actually made with her mouth, and her voice is even more beautiful than I could have imagined.
For the majority of the show, I had chills. Her voice absolutely soars live, unchecked by anything but the sound system. I couldn’t believe how deeply each song resonated, even the ones I didn’t know well. Going to this show felt like being immersed in a favorite comfy blanket, but also being shown that magic exists for the first time.
I kept closing my eyes and even with the guy yelling at his friend behind me and the smell of beer from the bar to my right, it felt like I was at home, on my bed, in a comfortable place listening to this incredible artist.
Regina Spektor is a tiny person, but her voice is huge.
Watching her play piano was also really special — in between songs, she would sip water, rub her hands together, wiggle her fingers and seemingly expel the energy of the last song before diving into the next. Watching her play was soothing, but magical; the way her hands moved over the keys, combined with the power of her voice, created an ethereal quality to the performance that I’ve never seen before.
During the songs when she was on her feet, not at her piano, Spektor seemed just as comfortable. Her interactions with the audience were endearing as hell (even when people shouted some truly obnoxious things) and she seemed to really love being on stage.
I’m so glad I finally got the chance to see her play live. Her set list was fantastic (a mix of songs I’ve loved forever and songs I’ve only heard once or twice, with an encore that ended in “Samson” and probably brought everyone to tears) and I could easily see her over and over again, just to hear her voice pour through the speakers with so much passion and grace.