Regina Spektor Live @ The Roseland, Portland Oregon
This was the first time in years she has visited the city on tour and, as such, there were many, including the staff here at YATM, anxious to see the show. We got there a bit later than we wanted and there the venue has made no attempt to support anyone taking photos around the stage or up in the balcony…we did manage with some carefully sought out birds nest shots up in the balcony. The Roseland also did not setup the stage well so the viewing was dark and somewhat limited. Enough of the venue stuff.
Regina, the Soviet-born girl who has made Brooklyn home most of her life was, as always full of her own quirkiness and amazing charm which allows for most shortcomings, such as forgetting the lyrics to one of her older songs (yes, but never fear, the audience assisted her). She is just too adorable to really find fault and her music both past and current reflects an upbeat, and in this day and age, very needed boost to ones mental and spiritual well being. If any of you have had the experience of meeting her and her family (as we did in January) you would see what an incredibly cute and down to earth person she really is and her music as such is only a reflection of that inner beauty.
Hovering over the piano, she began with a pair of bouncy, beaming cuts from her pop-leaned latest, “Far” – the bulk of the setlist was drawn from the album. Tonight her lovely voice, was backed by a three-piece band, partly supported by K. Ishibashi, lead singer for Jupiter One, on the violin.
Regina ended her set with a country song she wrote called “Love, You’re a Whore,” which has a lot of pep but, not quite your classic country love song – a slight quirky twist – “whore.” See the video below!
There was a lot of energy coming from the crowd, more then your usual after song ovations, especially, as you expect, the shouts from specific individuals, “We Love You Regina” and lots of screaming and clapping. There was a very young crowd for the most part especially given the demographics of most concerts in Portland (usually a bigger age spread). She definitely has a talk with the security, or shall we say her large Russian bodyguard/road manager. We have never seen that type of surveillance on camera security. The second anyone, even with a cell phone cam, appeared to be taking a photo, their efforts were stopped by security. Fortunately we had our photo/press pass for the show and from what we can tell, the only ones allowed with those privileges. For that, we were very grateful even with the challenging lighting and stage setup.
Regina played for a good 90 mins followed by a five song encore of all that we would hope including “Fidelity”, “Samson,” and “Us”. We are particularly partial to the songs, “Sampson”, and “Us”, both of which she delivered flawlessly. “Samson” – is an ode-to-longtime-love that still remains an achy, timeless tearjerker which she played solo on the piano, under a swarming, dreamy starry-night lit stage. It was magical, and poignant.
We left that night still feeling that Regina, as she appeared somewhat in the photos, was a bit off her mark and not quite giving it her all for the show that night. As we said, we love her and have a hard time finding fault but if there was one critique about the show we would say she could have made more of an effort to move around the stage a bit and bring up the tempo a bit in her set.
all photos courtesy of YATM
That said, we, with all the other loyal Regina fans say, “We Love You Regina”, keep bringing us those great quirky love songs and bouncy pop music!
Far album (buy)