I’ve been owing readers a recap of the Regina Spektor concert I attended last Sunday for roughly a week now, so here goes. In my defense, I turned the big 3-0 last week and was slightly preoccupied with birthday shenanigans. So now I’m back and ready to give Regina Spektor, experimental folk-acoustic, seductive songstress du jour (du semaine) a proper ode.
Headlining the Regina show was Only Son, aka iPod Man. His act was decent enough, but he went on for way too long and his shtick involved an iPod, which he used in lieu of a band. It got a little irksome after a while and as he came onstage drunk and saying a little too many “F*cks,” I quickly realized that a) I’m too old to find this MySpace-generated Mick Jagger/Bono wannabe remotely appealing and b) My generation (X) is WAY cooler than the 18-year-olds bopping along to the Yeah, like, that’s so f*cked man. Shit, ya know. Yeah, f*ck. Then again, maybe I’m being way too hard on our nation’s youth and even more frightening, maybe my generation sounded like that 12 years ago.
But then again, why were all these youngsters who I couldn’t envision really “getting” Regina’s brand of music, the overriding demographic present at her show?
Regina came out onstage 1.5 hours after the 7:30 starting time. While one can argue that the wait augments the level of anticipation, being stuck in the auditorium seating in Boston’s Orpheum Theater- whose seating was constructed and hasn’t been renovated since the early 20th Century when my height of 5’3 was the average height of a male, you can imagine the physical comfort level by the time the illustrious Ms. SpeKtor finally came onto stage.
Don’t get me wrong. Regina is a force to be reckoned with and well worth any wait. Coming onto stage, bright curly red hair, bright royal blue babydoll dress, with intermittent sprinklings of softspoken “thank you(s)” between belting out “Mary Anne is a B*tch” (it’s a song) and songs about people f*cking to her music, she carefully positions herself as the naughty nice girl. Others have gone down this road before in more gimmicky fashion, but Regina successfully avoids the common pitfalls of her peers and predecessors, salvaged by her musical range (high-pitched, discordant elongated shrieks a la Laurie Anderson to heavy, bluesy spirituals) and well, her, incredibly diverse RAW talent. (Norah Jones may also sing to the tune of the sweet songstress, but doesn’t manage the same sub-alt following, perhaps limited by range and level of experimentation. ) The difference being Regina owns her music, even when it’s not her music. Take her cover of John Lennon’s “Real Love” or her recent gig covering “Little Boxes” for the show “Weeds.” You can’t imagine (no pun intended) either song wasn’t written by her for her.
But back to the concert’s finale, Regina gave us our encores (“Samson”/”Fidelity” et al) and didn’t hold out on her audience, instead generously playing to the crowd, amidst delayed starts and iPod men that read more like boys. Oh, yeah. And really young kids yelling, That’s the f*ckin sh*t iPod Man!
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