Regina Spektor at the El Rey, Hollywood. September 29, 2016.
Last night, I was blessed enough to see the incredible musical performance of Regina Spektor. Celebrating her new album “Remember Us to Life” and the two and 1/2 month tour to support it, this was the first full-length performance she had done in the three whole years… and she’s still got it!
I have never in my life been to a concert that was more of a sing-a-long than a viewing and listening experience. The small venue only fits 771 people and when looking around at the crowed, every one of those 771 people were accompanying her with every word to every song (excluding the songs she performed from her new album-which was release today). In songs like “Sailor Song”, the chorus of “Marianne’s a bitch” was chanted by the crowed like an anthem. In the final encore song “Samson”(a personal favorite), Spector magically lost her place halfway through while performing and the crowd graciously finished the song complete with “Ooo”s and “Ahhh”s.
Her demeanor as a performer is charming and whimsical. She has a shy and a friendly but quiet way about her, even though her songs are nothing if not open and revealing. An artist that I have often considered the Salvador Dali of modern music, her songs have such depth and an element of tragedy and desperation while still maintaining a sweet quirky genuine character to them. This was the experience of a lifetime.
Songs that she performed from the new album included “Grand Hotel”, “Older and Taller”, “Bleeding Heart”, “Tornaoland”, “The Light”, “Small Bill$”, “Obsolete”, “Selling of Flowers”, and “The Trapper and the Furrier”.
Her new album, “Remember Us to Life”, is exactly what fans had hoped for… at least it’s exactly what I had hoped for. Consistent with her traditional sound and storytelling in songs like “Grand Hotel”, she also breaks away from the singer-songwriter style in songs like “Small Bill$”, which has a creepy offbeat melodic chorus true to Spektor’s unique genius . A genuine masterpiece of an album… it is everything to be hoped for from this musical goddess.
Note: This is one of the saddest songs I’ve ever written… it captures a time in my life when I was experiencing true heartache. Luckily the specific details of this song are not literal and were inspired by a piece of literature I was reading at the time.