Regina Spektor | 11.12.07

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live_regina_sm.jpgSpektor plays with her voice much more in concert than on her records, and tonight she scats, screeches, growls, meows, hoots, and hollers throughout the show.  

w/Only Son
The Pageant,
St. Louis

live_regina.jpg 

A solitary grand piano sits on the stage, waiting. The audience anxiously wriggles in their seats, or jiggles as they stand crammed against each other. This "set change" is bullshit. The opener, Only Son, was a single dude with a guitar (oh, wait, he had a "band" on his iPod, too) who had obviously smoked too much weed prior to his performance. My eyes are constantly dragging over to Spektor's piano throughout his set, begging her to come out and play some decent music.

And finally, at nine o'clock, she does. She looks sheepish and excited in her glittery dress and black flats; walking past the piano, she begins her fantastic set with "Ain't No Cover," a cappella. Her voice rings through the place, sounding beautifully clear and crisp. She soon moves over to her patient grand piano and the beginning chords of "On the Radio" sound out.

In all, Spektor plays 21 songs. Most are from Soviet Kitsch and Begin to Hope, but some are from her previously released EPs, and she even plays an incredible cover of John Lennon's "Real Love." Her performance of "Poor Little Rich Boy" brings a wooden chair into play—as she tickles the ivories with her left hand, she beats on the seat of the chair with a drumstick, creating percussion. Another gem was "Baby Jesus," one of Spektor's many songs about religion: "The non-believers get to eat dirt, and the believers get to spit in their graves." Spektor plays with her voice much more in concert than on her records, and tonight she scats, screeches, growls, meows, hoots, and hollers throughout the show. One would think that this would make it difficult to sing along, but the many teenage girls in attendance this evening prove that theory wrong.

Spektor's encore consists of five songs: "Us," "Uh-Merica," "Fidelity," a beat-box version of "Hotel Song" with Only Son, and finally, "Samson." The strategically placed light-bulbs attached to the back curtain suddenly spring to life, the grounded disco ball creates sparkles throughout the large room, and the three naked lights glitter with low-light. Spektor's voice quietly sings the gorgeous lyrics of this song: "He told me I was beautiful, came into my bed..." I feel as though one woman summed up how everyone felt about this beauty: in a quick pause at the end of the song, she cried out, "OH MY GOD" and we all sighed. Oh my God is right. | Kaylen Hoffman

View all of Todd Owyoung's photos of the show

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