Marathon Life

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Regina Spektor at El Rey Theatre - Los Angeles, CA

On Tuesday night (7/28) I was lucky enough to have tickets to the sold out Regina Spektor show at El Rey Theatre. My friend Linda from San Diego picked me up at work in Irvine around 4pm with my friend Ivan and we hit the road. It only took about 1 hour 20 min to get there with no really bad traffic. We had time to kill so we went to El Toro Cantina, just down the street. It was Taco Tuesday so they had $1 taco and $5 margarita specials. (All photos on this post were taken by me)

After waiting in line for about 45 min they finally opened the doors around 8:15pm. We immediately went to the front left side area that was elevated by a few steps. It was actually the best place to take photos. I did have to zoom in quite a bit and had issues with getting the right lighting since I wasn't using a flash. It was a standing room only show so there wasn't a lot space to maneuver around.

Just when I thought there was no opening band some lame group came out at 8:50pm. I was hoping Regina would start at 9:30, but she didn't begin her set until 10:15. We were impatiently counting down the songs. It seemed their set would never end. I don't even know the name of the band as they never announced themselves. You would figure it would be a good marketing practice to actually announce who you are to an audience who most likely has never heard your music before. They were trying so hard to be like hippies and all 70s like it was kind of pathetic. Their 40-min set went on forever. Regina needs to pick a better opener for her future tours. Sorry.

Finally Regina came out (yay!) and played a great show with supporting musicians that included a drummer and 4-piece string section (two upright basses, a violin and a viola!) I have been to two previous shows in San Diego where it was just her and her piano solo so this was a great bonus to have the full effect of the music. So much of Regina's music is rooted in orchestration.

Regina represented her new album Far pretty heavily, opening with "The Calculation". Other highlights for me included "Eet", which is my favorite track from Far. Her first single "Laughing With" was also enjoyable. The sound quality was great througout the evening. I never had to strain to listen to the keys as I have had to do several times at Tori Amos concerts. Regina definitely interacted with the audience and looked like she was truly enjoying herself up there.

Regina played many songs without the orchestra/drummer including the always emotional "Samson" during her 5-song encore. The strings came back in full force with her hit "Us" that was from her 2004 debut album Soviet Kitch. I really believe it was that song in particular that got Regina Spektor on the musical map. I recall being in my first apartment in San Diego when I when heard a distinctive voice from the other room that resembled Bjork's but it was a bit different, slightly Russian in tone. Then I turned to the TV to see Regina in a video for "Us". I went out and got the album the next day.

I'm really glad she played the bonus track from Far called "Time is All Around". It's such a great song and anyone who doesn't own the bonus CD should really go out and buy it. It's worth the extra money! Also, I was glad she played "On The Radio" from her second album Begin to Hope. That is one of my favorite tracks from her and it's always an up-beat tempo and fun song to hear. Usually I am drawn to her slower, more mellow songs but this one just does it for me.

I don't know if this set list is completely accurate (in order of songs) but her management posted some of it on her Facebook page discussion board.

Set List
The Calculation
Blue Lips
Laughing With
Folding Chair
Man of 1000 Faces
That Time
Bobbin' For Apples
Poor Little Rich Boy
Time is All Around
One More Time With Feeling
Apres Moi
Genius Next Door

Hotel Song
On The Radio
Love, You're a Whore

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posted by Anthony at 12:18 AM


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