Sad Spektorcal

(Worst post title ever? Yes.)

Last night we went to see Regina Spektor performing at local venue Vega. It was rather excellent to be able to walk to a concert by someone who, for us, is relatively famous and a big deal – also nice that it was still light after the concert for the walk home. Thanks, Summer.

The concert itself was a little unusual. The band (Spektor, a violinist, and a drummer) played about three songs before announcing that they were all feeling traumatised because the fourth member of the band, their cellist Dan Cho, had died only a week ago. So that was really quite an unusual aspect to the show.

On the other hand, it didn’t obviously colour the music as far as I could tell (though I may lack empathy). Instead, the concert consisted of Spektor largely playing alone and belting out pretty faithful renditions of her songs (particularly from her newest album, Far). She was great and her voice in person is even more impressive – she’s able to do a lot with it.

The beginning of the concert ended up being the most affective for me, prior to the revelation of the sad context and prior to realising it was going to be a rather straightforward performance (no audience interaction to speak of, for instance). One song in particular, One More Time With Feeling, seemed very beautiful. But I find myself wondering if it would have been so at the end of the concert when the concert felt more like a recital.

In the end, it was certainly a great thing to see Regina Spektor live, and she seemed very sweet (and sad), but the lack of connection to the audience did empty out the “liveness” of the songs quite a lot, turning it into something more like “oh, I’m standing near a famous person!” rather than a genuine instantiation of the songs in a special setting.

14 July 2010
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