Regina Spektor fans have been waiting a long time to see their beloved songstress return to the United States, and for most, the wait continues. However, fans in the New York City area received a special treat on Wednesday night, as Ms. Spektor took the stage to a packed house at the illustrious Beacon Theatre on Broadway.
The night started with the opening act Little Joy who put on a fine warm up performance to say the least. The six-piece group from Los Angeles features The Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti, and plays a style that could be compared to that of the same group, but with a more mellow vibe underlying most of their songs. The band played for a good half hour set, and impressed most in the crowd that were new to the band.
Then, at a little past nine o’ clock, the moment that some people had been waiting for since Regina’s first album finally arrived. Regina entered the stage dressed in an elegant black dress and stockings. She bypassed her piano to welcome the screaming crowd with shy waves, and a smile that stretched from ear to ear. After the crowd silenced, she walked to her seat behind the keys, backed with two cellists seated behind her. She opened with the soft sounds of “Folding Chair”, a song which will be appearing on her upcoming album, Far. Like many of her songs, “Folding Chair” is one which has been circulating on the Internet for quite some time, played only at live shows, and never released on a studio recorded album. When the song finished, the crowd gave a thundering applause, and then settled in for what was to be a great night of music.
Regina’s show was filled with a mix of songs primarily off of Far and her last album, Begin to Hope. The set began with Regina and her two cellists, and after her third song, she brought on her “secret drummer” who was in the shadows until Regina made note of it. The foursome played for eight songs, ending with a single off her new record, “Laughing With”. Then, Regina abandoned the piano to pick up her aqua colored guitar that had been sitting behind her previously. She started with an unreleased song entitled “Bobbing for Apples” that had the crowd laughing at its uncharacteristically vulgar lyrics. She then played the reminiscent “That Time” before returning to her seat. The rest of her solo performance included a treat for Regina’s original fans when she played “Poor Little Rich Boy” from her album Soviet Kitsch, which featured her playing both the piano and a wooden chair which she hit furiously throughout. The next song was, at least to fans, a new one, which for now is given the name “All The Holocaust Deniers”. The song is an outcry against all of those who, as one may guess, deny that the Holocaust ever happened.
Another highlight came during “Consequence of Sounds”, a song sung in a hip-hop style, when she forgot her lyrics and exclaimed, “That’s why I’m not a rapper!” After assistance from an audience member, Regina resumed and played flawlessly for the rest of the song. Finally, Spektor wrapped up with “Man of A Thousand Faces”. As the last notes rang out, Regina left the stage to a standing ovation. Minutes later she returned to play a three-song encore, ending with her breakthrough song “Fidelity”.
The night ended much as it began, as Regina went to the front of the stage and bid a goodnight and a warm thank you to the crowd, mentioning that she, “hopes to see us in the fall” before exiting the stage. After what was an outstanding performance, I’m sure the crowd is hoping the same thing, as well.
Regina will be a musical guest on Good Morning America on June 23, and The Late Show with David Letterman on June 26 and is reported to play her new song “Laughing With”. Far is scheduled for release on June 23. Spektor will be embarking on a short U.S. tour this fall, which includes dates in Boston and Philadelphia. Tickets for these shows are on sale now.