Saturday, June 20, 2009

Regina Spektor plays sold-out Beacon Theatre, NYC: 6/17/09

With a new album (Far) coming out June 23, Regina Spektor has been keeping herself busy. Though she has tour dates lined up through September after her album drops, this didn't stop her from performing a sold-out show in New York City's Beacon Theatre Wednesday night.

Spektor charmed the audience from the second she took the stage in a simple black outfit, which made her look like she was ready for a piano recital. Though she was aware of the adoring audience, which was filled with people who cheered enthusiastically and even gave her flowers towards the end of her set, Spektor couldn't stop gushing about how thrilling (and occasionally nerve wracking) it was for her to be there. When the person in charge of lighting took a moment to shine the lights throughout the otherwise darkened venue, Spektor laughed nervously as she realized how many people were there. "Now I can see them all!" she exclaimed. But a few seconds later she added that it was "really nice" getting a chance to see everyone there.

The set focused largely on Spektor's newer material from Far, including the single "Laughing With," but that didn't stop anyone from enjoying the show. Spektor's strong vocals and brilliant piano playing — only occasionally backed by a small string section and drums — had everyone's attention, even if the material wasn't always familiar to us. She eventually mixed things up by throwing in a few songs from Begin to Hope including the fascinating "Apres Moi. And she even touched upon some older material like "Poor Little Rich Boy" (complete with Spektor drumming on a chair while playing her piano) and "Consequence of Sounds" (which she performed with great spirit after a false start).

The concert was a perfect showcase for Spektor's talent and charisma, which are even more overwhelming in a live setting. For two hours that night, it was easy to forget about the world outside as I sat there watching her perform.

Setlist: Folding Chair, Lucky Penny, Time is All Around, Eet, The Calculation, Machine, One More Time with Feeling, On the Radio, Blue Lips, Riot Gear, Laughing With, Bobbing for Apples, That Time, Apres Moi, Human of the Year, Poor Little Rich Boy, Holocaust, Consequence of Sounds, Man of a Thousand Faces

Encore: Samson, Us, Fidelity

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