My Review of One Fantastic Night
In spite of it being my first gig ever, I felt I half-knew what to expect from the endless amount of Youtube videos I get through of Regina's wonderful performances - it was indeed everything I'd expected and hoped, and perhaps a little more. It was quite a small theatre, with seating above the standing area. At the time, I didn't really think it that small, but looking at other venues she has performed in, especially the stunning Albert Hall in London where she performed last year (which is quite close to me), the theatre was very small in comparison, adding to a lovely, intimate feel. As me and my friend had seats, I was one of the first to hit the merch stand, finally buying myself a vinyl copy of Cheap Seats, Only Son's Searchlight album and a lovely poster, which unfortunetly didn't come in a roll (it stayed in good shape as we had a kind of ledge behind our seats where we could rest our things, but it recieved a finger-dent due to the high sea winds afterwards - it's a lovely blue one of Regi holding out her dress on A2 card with her name in red Cheap Seats font). I'm glad I had the security of seating, as on the way out, the merch stand was completely mobbed with standers hurring to get a look in with what was avalible to buy.
Anyway, on to the performance! Of course, the wonderful Jack opened, performing with Regina's band - he played around seven or eight tracks, sipping whisky inbetween songs. At this time, there was a good crowd down below the seats, but a third or so of the balcony seating was empty, which I really thought unfitting for him, as well as the chatter I noticed during a few of his quieter songs. I know some people might avoid the opening act, arriving later, but still, full seats and no disrepectful chatter would have been nicer backdrop for his fantastic performance - it's just plain rude to chat away when there's someone up on stage, even if they're not performing as brilliantly as he did. All the way up in the seats, I felt a little detatched from the performance area, but by the time Regina graced the stage in a floor-length red and white number, slit down the leg and belted with a black sash, all those feelings seemed to melt away.
She opened with 'Ain't No Cover', bobbing her shoulders and shuffling her feet as she hunched over the mic in song, then sat herself down at the piano for 'The Calculation'. After that came 'On the Radio', and from that point on really, I forget the set order, having slipped into the most wonderful kind of musical blur, still absorbing every song, every lyric, but concentrating more on the moment and enjoying myself rather than documenting every single little thing. She had to restart Eet, as there were a minor technical difficulty which had to be fixed, and for the second time ever, performed 'You've Got Time' live, with Jack on guitar - I'm proud to think that she debuted the song the night before in the UK, but think it unfortunate that she did so during Garden Party, which as we all know resulted in all that misguided mess. My stand-out songs would be 'The Party' which she closed her set with, launching us all into a good ten minutes of applause (and some foot-stamping and wolf-whistling) as she disapeared backstage with a brilliantly-wide smile, returning after all our noise to play a four-song encore - each of which were especially brillant and special, being (probably) my all-time favorite 'Us', best-known 'Fidelity', 'Hotel Song' and the beautiful 'Samson', perfomed under a simple white light, just Regi and the piano, closing the show - breath-takingly moving. It was also very entertaining and lovely, as well as so brilliantly honest of her, when she announced how "Fucking Awsome" our ever-building applause had been as she had waited in the wings, having just emerged back on stage for the encore - you gotta love her! Hearing 'You've Got Time' live also felt like an extra privilege, and her few 'adorable piano mishaps', which would have all gone unnoticed by the casual listener, made the music so much more human and real, unglossed but wonderful, as we should be in life.
I left the venue on a high with my best friend in the cold night air, and waited for my two lovely Aunties who had driven us to Bexhill, and had dined and found a pub afterwards whilst we were at the gig. All afternoon, we had walked around Bexhill, me noticing the advertising posters for Regina in shop windows, commenting how much I'd like one - I was suprised and pleased to find they had managed to get me one off a pub notice board after getting pally with the barman, and now both the posters from that special night face me, secured proudly above my fireplace. I did think about heading to the stagedoor - we had seen her tour bus, parked very prominantly behind a low hedge at the side of the Pavillion, a big black thing with an accompanying truck, a roaring Lion-type motif and the words 'born to be wild' on the back of it, earlier in the day. We had to get back however, and it being gone eleven, with an hour and a halfs drive ahead of us, as well as my Auntie at the wheel having to get up at 5.00am for work the next day, I decided against doing so, as it wouldn't have been practical or fair, and the night had been great enough as it was. I've heard you often have to wait two hours +, and even then, there mightn't be a chance of meeting her - we passed a crowd of 20 or so at the gate, but I've seen one bitter fan criticising her for not meeting fans that night - they could be wrong, they could have waited for a while, then left, only for her to then show later, but I'd like to know if she or Jack really did meet fans that night. I find it very unfair however, for this fan to get so worked-up about it, as it's not in Regina's job-description, and if she so chooses to show her face at the stagedoor, she's going above and beyond for fans, which is brilliant of course, but she doesn't have to do so, and shouldn't be expected to do so either.
On a whole, it was a fantastic night, a brilliant performance, and hopefully the first of many times I get to see her perform live - I hoped she enjoyed her time perfoming at De La Warr Pavillion as much as all us fans did. There are videos of the most prominant performances filmed by other's on Youtube which are well worth checking out - just search 'Regina Spektor Bexhill'.