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Concert Review: Regina Spektor at Cleveland Agora, Cleveland, Oct. 1, 2007

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After seeing her live over the summer at the Virgin Festival I really wanted to take in a second helping of Regina Spektor and her beautiful voice.  I was given the opportunity to attend a more intimate performance at the Cleveland Agora and I was very excited to attend.  On a rainy Monday night in October, I ventured down to the Cleveland Agora to see the redheaded Moscow native with opening act Only Son.

Opener Only Son wooed the audience with his originality. Think Death Cab For Cutie but a one man show.  His backing band was his iPod that was placed on a stool.  Audience members were at first silent but eventually warmed up to him by the end of his performance.  My favorite song/skit he did was when he hit play on the iPod and had a conversation with himself telling the crowd about his MySpace page. 

Once Only Son left the stage there was very little time with stage preparation.  The stage had a piano, a blue hollowed out electric guitar, and a couple of microphones.  Fans waited eagerly for the star of the evening to place set foot on stage.  Almost a half hour passed before any commotion would appear on stage.

The darkened stage lit up enough for the silhouette of Regina Spektor to emerge and the crowd went crazy.  It was a special night for all who attended. It was the first time that Regina played at the Cleveland Agora and by the size of her smile you could tell she was happy to be there.

Her first song was an acapella piece of “Ain’t No Cover."  As she sang she tapped her fingers on the microphone to keep time.  Her voice was the only activity in the nearly sold out venue.  Everyone’s attention was focused on Regina Spektor.  When she finished singing the audience showed their approval. 

Humble is just one of many words to describe Regina Spektor.  In between sings she sips from her bottled water using two hands.  She smiles so shyly yet sincerely.  When she sings you stop what you are doing, focus your attention on her and just absorb her beautiful voice.  When she makes a slight error while singing a song she will laugh and admit the fault and try it again. 

Regina SpektorShe played through a handful of songs including the radio friendly “On The Radio” and my personal favorite “That Time.”  A few songs later she started playing “Real Love” a John Lennon cover but had difficulties.  It did not matter though; when a note was played incorrectly she would laugh as would the crowd.  She promised everyone she did practice the song and eventually after a couple of tried she got through the song.


In the middle of “Fidelity” something funny yet uncalled for happened that could have ended the show prematurely.  In fact let me give a special shout out to the dumb asses that decided to approach the stage and scared poor Regina.

Your drunken actions were not appreciated by the person who you bought tickets to see nor were any of the fans amused.  Good job for stopping a great song.  Regina was scared for a moment and then thankfully  laughed it off saying “I forgot what I’m singing anymore, I got scared.”  She comically replaced the forgotten song lyrics with “something” while she regained her wits.  It was really funny but at the same time I did not like tweedle dee and tweedle dumb for doing that.

One of the highlights of the evening was the beat box performance of Only Son teaming up with Regina to perform  a remix of “Hotel Song.” The other highlight was her performance of “Poor Little Rich Boy.”  While singing and playing piano one handed, she managed to tap her foot and play a chair with her drum stick. It was really entertaining to see her multi-task a song so well.

The night went by quickly and the show came to an end. Regina Spektor left her mark in Cleveland and it was almost perfect spite a couple of mishaps.  Regardless though it was a show not to be missed and I am really glad I got to be a part of it.  If you think her voice sounds enchanting on her CDs you should see her live, it almost puts chills down your spine when she reaches certain notes…

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