Concert Knowledge: 8 things I learned at Regina Spektor

I don’t go to concerts often. My music taste tends towards the mainstream – yeah, I’m an un-ironic T-Swift fan, what do you have to say to that, last Concert Knowledge post? – which means that buying frequent, decent, and legal concert tickets would seriously break the bank. So you can imagine my excitement when I heard that Regina Spektor was coming to Providence and the most expensive tickets were fifty bucks. I jumped on the opportunity, and can say that it was 100% worth it. Here are eight reasons why:

1. The Vet is nice – really nice.

I don’t know what I expected — but it’s a really pretty old theater. And not that big, so for future reference, pretty much any seat is a good seat.

2. Regina Spektor’s husband Jack Dishel is her opening act, and he’s awesome.

Dishel’s solo act, Only Son, played some good, Vampire Weekend-esque (as described by one of my friends) rock interspersed with weird comments from Dishel. I should mention he was drinking from a red Solo cup for the entirety of his performance, and was almost definitely high on something. By the end of his performance, he’d thanked us for the “weird vibes” and told us, “I just want you guys to know that it feels really good to say weird stuff to a room full of people you do not know.” We’ll take his word for that.

3. A Regina Spektor concert is an all-ages affair.

Well, I’m not sure if this one has to do more with her or more with the constituency that receives the Vet’s schedule of performances, but I was mistaken for thinking the audience would be dominated by Brown students. The vast majority of attendees did, in fact, look to be in their thirties, forties, or older. And on the other end, there were children!  Let’s hope they were too young to understand that Jack Dishel wasn’t some silly guy saying silly things while drinking out of a cool red cup.

4. Regina is an outfit-repeater.

Some celebrities never wear the same thing twice, but Regina Spektor is too down-to-earth for that. She proudly told the audience that she’d worn the top she was wearing that night in one of her music videos. Kate Saunders would not approve.

5. Simple doesn’t mean bad.

Regina Spektor proves that you don’t need a spectacle to put on an awesome concert. The only set pieces she had were strung-up sheets of paper (or something intended to look like paper), but I’m not doing them any justice — they looked really cool, especially with colored light shining on them.

6. Apparently one person’s body can contain that much talent — and stamina.

Regina’s a classically-trained pianist, and she’s got a killer voice. But she also makes a lot of weird noises with her mouth, and sometimes she does all three at the same time. Everyone I was sitting with at the concert was completely awed by her talent, especially the musicians who couldn’t imagine being so good at so many musical things at once. Oh, and she played for just about two hours straight. So much respect.

7. Regina Spektor is one graceful, classy-ass lady.

I think she must have thanked the audience about 30 times during the concert. But the best moment? In one of the first few songs she played, she messed up. She stopped the song, chastised her brain — out loud — for messing up, and then promised us that she’d “try not to fuck it up again.” It was so adorable that no one thought twice about whatever mistake it was she’d made.

8. Oh yeah, and she’s super nice in person, too.

The ushers at the Vet told us that Regina would come out by her tour bus after the show and sign autographs, although the mean security guard by the bus tried to convince us otherwise. We waited for about an hour, and it was completely worth it: she talked to and signed autographs for the approximately 30 people waiting, and we even got to take a picture with her. Her biggest concern before the snapshot was taken? That, while crouching in front of our group, she wasn’t blocking anyone.

She totally didn’t think it was weird to take a picture with several bears.

Basically, Regina Spektor is a hyper-talented, incredibly sweet class act. No word on when she’ll next be in Providence, but if you’re a fan of hers at all, seeing Regina Spektor in concert is a can’t-miss experience.

Leave a Reply