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Saturday, October 07, 2006
  Regina Spektor @ Avalon: an alternative live review.
last night was the first time i've ever really attended a show by myself. it's different when you're alone, isn't it? sure, you can go with someone and maybe become so absorbed in the performance that you grow oblivious to their presence. but when there's no presence to ignore, it's different. you become more observant - not just of your purse or your back pocket. you notice the way the couple in front of you is only fifteen, and every forty-five seconds their physical separation of seven inches gets too much to bear and they must hug it away. you notice the mom just as girlishly excited as the daughter. you notice the heavy-eyelinered pair who's more interested in their sighting amanda from Dresden Dolls ("shriek!") than, if you can believe it, Your Honor. you notice...

and then it dawns on you you're not the only one alone. oh, Reg! how alone she is on stage! it's just her, isn't it? it's a big stage - it's a big venue, and sold out, damn - and there she is, a glittering and happy curly-haired Russian girl, and that voice that renders everyone silent. no one sings during her songs. you notice that, too - did you notice that? sometimes. who can't sing to Better or (oh, i love) The Hotel Song? and who can't try their best to follow a live On The Radio? and FIdelity? (unless, of course, you're standing next to the only raucously drunk guy in the place that happens to know every word to every song. i'm also positive he was also the only drunk guy to ever try and start a fight at a Regina Spektor concert.) oh, Begin To Hope. but Soviet Kitsch, too. and that one song from 11:11 -

a piano, and a voice. for half the show, there she is, commanding an entire full-capacity audience, old to young, boy to girl, drunk to sober. entirely alone. suddenly it made sense to me that i would go to see Regina Spektor alone; she is also alone, and everything is okay. that's how she is. she sings of loneliness and heartbreak and some of the most beautiful imagery i've ever found in contemporary lyrics and yet - she represents it all by herself, clearly capable of ditching the "fucking rad" band that slips behind and joins her halfway through (Poor Little Rich Boy, drumming with her foot and a tapping stick on the amp beside her). she is so happy, and she is so sweet, but she's so strong too - Madonna. Elliott Smith. do you see where that could be going? no. it's okay. she is Regina, she is positively beautiful, and the sound of her singing is like nothing else.

if you can catch the last of her tour, please.

i have no photographs. i am between cameras. i was late. i was off to the side. the drunks and i shared the view by the bar, craning our necks, watching over the deliciously indie/scene crowd with acute interest and quietly enraptured the moment she took the stage. or maybe that was just me, i don't know. i was alone.

reg on myspace
on the hype
It was a magical show. It wasn't just you. :)
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