I arrived at the venue around 7:00 with a friend of mine whom I had worked an event with prior to showing up. We changed out of our work attire in the car and I wore something a bit more appropriate. We were both exhausted but I was so excited to finally be at my first Regina Spektor concert. It took us a while to find the place and I ended up paying 30 dollars for parking which was unfortunate but I was too excited to really care. After grabbing a snack to eat at the concessions stand (which was overly priced BTW), we walked upstairs to the general admission area and took a seat. I was more accustomed to general admission being standing only but I was assured by the lady on the phone whom I had called earlier that the seats directly upstairs were for everyone. My friend was exhausted from working all day so she insisted I go downstairs in the standing area to get a closer look at Regina when she came out. I felt bad about leaving her behind but since she insisted I said I would go ahead. There were three girls seated behind us that looked like they were about 13-14 making ridiculous noises and comments that was irritating the hell out of us but I ignored them. After about 20 minutes, Jack Dishel made his appearance. His voice sounded good and I enjoyed most of his songs however I wasn't paying an incredible amount of attention to him. I was not familiar with most of his music anyhow. The girls behind us continued to irritate us and laughed at Jack Dishel's comments about their being too many forms of communication, something along the lines of "there's always Facebook, twitter, Instagram...let's not forget about Myspace!". They sat frantically looking at their phones, one girl stating “OHH WIKIPEDIA SAYS JACK IS REGINA’S WIFE!”.
After Jack DIshel finished his set, the crew began preparing for Regina's set and we had an intermission. I went downstairs while several people exited and tried to locate a good standing spot close to the stage. I found one to the far right with a good view of the piano and figured it would do. I wanted to go closer but apparently the spots closer to the stage were "VIP" and I needed to pay an additional $40 dollars to stand there. I quickly decided it was not worth it. I am about 6 feet tall so I did not have much of a problem seeing over everyone anyhow.
I tried to make conversation with people around me. One of the girls was a very big fan and we discussed all of Regina's CDs including 11:11. I was impressed with her knowledge of Regina's music. I told her about brumstix and she said she would look into joining. We discussed our favorite albums and how anxious we were for her to come out. I also made conversations with other people. One girl stood next to me and I asked her if she was a fan. She responded with a giant laugh and a resounding no saying she was with her friend who dragged her to the show. After chatting for a few moments, the lights went dim and the audience roared in applause screaming for Regina to enter the stage. I felt my heart beating at an increased pace and I could not stop the feeling of anxiety I felt radiating throughout my entire body. Here was my chance. I was finally going to see my favorite artist of all time right in front of me. It felt so surreal and I could not believe that it was actually happening.
Moments passed and Regina pounced on the stage. She was radiant, wearing a striped lacy black and gray dress with leggings. I still couldn't believe she was right there. I screamed at the top of my lungs as me and the rest of the crowd welcomed her in with open arms. She began to sing Ain't No Cover flawlessly! It was pitch perfect. The room filled with her voice and you could not ignore how magnificent she was. When she finished, I received a text from my friend whom, despite her disinterest in Regina commented on how good she was and thanked me for taking her. After "Ain't No Cover”, Regina sat near her piano and smiled graciously squealing "I've never been here before! Thank You!” Silence passed for a moment and I wanted to scream out "FINALLY!" but held back as to not disrupt her too much.
She continued playing “The Calculation” and followed it by “On the Radio”. I couldn't help but sing along to my favorite lyrics, "This is how is works...and everyone must breathe until their dying breath!” It felt amazing to say those powerful words right along with her. That song has meant so much to me for so long. She continued singing "Small Town Moon" and I must say hearing that song live was better than on the CD. It sounded so great with the orchestra and drums and the beat-boxing. It's just so catchy now! I really love it yet it still maintains its power and integrity. After more applause, Regina thanked the audience and said "This next song is really old" and I screamed with joy wondering what she would play. I had a feeling it was Ode to Divorce and when she hit those first few notes on her piano, I erupted out in tears uncontrollably. I have listened to that song so many times and each time, it means something new to me. It was just so emotional finally hearing it right there and the sound quality in the theater was incredible. I couldn't help myself as I quietly mouthed the lyrics and tried to hold back as many tears as I could. A couple behind me stared at me frazzled yet smiling at me in an accepting sort of way. I knew they were not huge fans but they seemed to understand my slight insanity and even stood back during some of the songs so I could see Regina better. I texted my friend saying that I had already cried three times already and she texted me back saying that she's glad I had moved as those preteens were still being obnoxious letting me know that one of the audience members had thrown a water bottle at them. I laughed out loud and was happy with my decision.
Several songs passed and Regina continued to impress me with her flawlessness. She did not make one noticeable mistake throughout the entire show. Blue Lips was a joy to hear as well, one of my favorites on the Far album. The set list went by incredibly fast and Regina did not say much else besides a few thank yous and such. She finished the set with the songs "Open" and "The Party". I loved hearing Open live. It's one of those songs I did not expect Regina to revive and it's amazing that she is now playing it in every show. The audience tried to sing along to the gasping sounds and it was a joy to hear all the attempts for everyone to inhale just like she does. Honestly, I really enjoyed the audience. They all seemed to be fans of Regina and were overall interested, respectful and attentive to her the entire night.
After Regina finished her set, I returned to my seat to meet with my friend clapping frantically for Regina to return for her encore. I thanked the lady in front of me for getting those girls to shut up who had finally left the show midway through the set. My friend said they were being obnoxious and loud the entire show. I don't understand how people can think that is okay but oh well. I had no part in it anyway. Regina finally came out and I cheered as she began to play "Us", a song that I had played a billion times and knew every word to. I wanted to go back to the general admission standing section as I realized that the audience there was way more into it than the audience that were sitting but I did not want to leave my friend again. Regina continued with Fidelity, Hotel Song, and Samson. Samson was a crowd winner with everyone standing and singing along. I find it odd that I don't have the amazing emotional connection to the song as everyone else seems to have though I do love and appreciate it. For some reason, Ode to Divorce will have me bawling but Samson will just leave me in admiration. Maybe it hasn't connected to me in that way yet.
Regina bowed and after a few more thank yous, walked off the stage for the final time. I thanked my friend for bringing me and she said she was willing to stay and wait for Regina to come out after the show. I couldn't believe how good of a friend she was being and I thanked her again in tears. She was starved so we went out to grab some food. We went to Starbucks and than a pizzeria where she ordered a slice of pizza. I was not very hungry so I sipped on my drink as we walked back to the venue. We got lost on the way back but eventually found our way. I am awful with directions. Thank God for my phone/gps.
Once we returned, I tried to figure out where I could go to have a chance to meet Regina. It took a few minutes and I asked one of the workers (stupidly, I might add) who responded "OHH NOOO! The artist?! LOL they don't come out after the show! They IMMEDIATELY jump on their tour buses and drive out right after! LOL I’m sorry honey! Are you a big fan?" I nodded and rolled my eyes. I remember reading on these forums that the bus was usually directly behind the venue so we walked around to the back where we met up with a crowd. I was relieved and elated that I had found the area where she was most likely to come out. We waited about an hour and finally after a couple of false alarms (loud applauses for crew/band members), Regina came out, looking comfortable, wearing a pair of jeans and red t-shirt with a black jacket. She seemed so happy and smiled from ear to ear. She signed autographs and hugged one of the fans which ended up being a bad idea as everyone began requesting hugs from her. She soon said "I don't think I can give anymore hugs! No more hugs guys ". I was sad I would not be getting a hug. At least 70 people were waiting to see her and her bodyguard was not having anything to do with it. He said in a stern voice rushing everyone, "Pictures on the fly! No pictures with Regina. WAY too many people! Just autographs!". I was sad about this as I really wanted a picture with her. I also realized I had left my WWSFTCS cd in my friend’s car so all I had was my ticket for her to sign. I heard her bodyguard saying something about how she might have to stop signing autographs soon and I pushed to the front of the crowd where she quickly signed my ticket. All I could say amongst the chaos was "Thank You Regina". It didn't seem like enough but it would have to do. After all, that pretty much encompasses all I really meant to say anyway. Thank You. Thank you for being amazing. Thank You for being free creatively. Thank You for not giving a fuck what anybody wanted from you and putting out such amazing music into the world. Thank You for touching my soul and inspiring me to be the person I am today. Thank You for getting me into writing, poetry, music, wanting to play the piano, opening myself to becoming artistic person I know has always been inside me Thank You for making me realize that it's more than okay to be myself. Thank You!
I know I'll see her again and get my picture and hopefully my autograph but this was an amazing first show. She seems to get more and more popular everyday and I am happy for her. She really does deserve it. If she comes back to the states, I plan on flying/driving and seeing more than one show. One was just not enough. She is worth every penny.
We drove back to my friend’s house and I was in such a dazed state that I drove home drowsy and forgot to put my alarm on to meet my friend for a ride to work the next morning. It was almost 4 AM when I got home and I needed to get up at 6. I ended up having to drive the hour trip back to work on my own (it was a temporarily 3 day gig). I felt bad but I knew it was so much to take in. Luckily I did not make it there too late and ended up finishing my shift okay.
I'm so grateful to be in the world with such amazing art and music and Regina has opened me up to all of it. One of the quotes Regina has said that I think about everyday is that everyone should be free to love whatever they want and no one should be surprised by anything. I felt so free to love her music that day. So careless of what other people thought. kind of the "black sheep" of my family and friends, I used to hide who I was and now I've grown to appreciate the artsy creative person that I am and Regina has had a lot to do with that. It was definitely one of the best days of my life. Anyway pictures below:
instagram picture with my signed ticket
shot with jack