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  1. 2012.10.13- The Fillmore; Detroit, MI

    Wow, Detroit. Yes, there are still surprises in life. This show was really, really awesome. Of course my first time ever in Detroit was a gross rainy day, but of course that would never stop me from standing outside for several hours for regina. The two people in front of me in line were decked out in ponchos, we talked about everything from 11:11 to seeing Paul McCartney. It was their first time for regina, I was excited for them. While making a huge mess eating some delicious tacos, one of the venue security guys brought out his phone and offered to show us a video of a Cleveland rta worker punching a girl. It was great because just the night prior a friend (in Cleveland) told me I needed to see this. It was also great, because this was a venue staff guy was being so nice and friendly. Yep, I was already having fun. I knew there was nowhere to go but up when a small, very young girl and her dad got in line behind us. Despite the rain, she was bouncing and jumping around the sidewalk in her tiny pink shirt and tiny pink and grey shoes. She counted the people in line, then counted them again, by twos. She was hopeful about her chances of getting a “front row seat.” Throughout the wait she was a ball of energy, making hilarious comments only a child would about the various panhandlers who kept approaching us. She was quite possibly most adorable 6 year-old ever as she excitedly told us this was her first time seeing regina, and about how regina is her “favorite singer” and that she has “the most regina songs, more than anyone else.” She was impressively articulate about her love for regina. I’d made up my mind, Regina NEEDED to see her. A bit more waiting, and after security went down the line informing everyone that we could take pictures but not use flash, we were let in to the venue at 6:50. It was a tad unusual, but I liked it. Inside, at the front, there was a weird mini ramp up to the barriers which was fine if you were in the front row, but apparently a challenge to stand on if you were in the second. Luckily I was in the front, but I had to listen to the people behind me performing all kinds of crazy leaning/bracing/standing techniques to deal with it. The stage was not as close as the night prior, but it was really low, the lowest ever in recent memory. It made for extra good viewing and camera angles. The wait had begun, and as corny as it was, the LiveNation screen with the text ticker was vastly entertaining and helped pass the time. I was elated to see that the little girl and her dad, despite a bathroom stop, had managed to get a good spot at the front, 2 people to my right. Yesss, this was perfect. I was all smiles as Jack played. I tested the waters and videoed some stuff. Nobody cared. Sweet. Being that the stage was so low we figured Jack would have to see us at some point. We were RIGHT there. If he did he never showed it. Despite the fact that Jack almost always has his eyes open when he plays, not once has he ever acknowledged my presence from the stage (aside from in tiny venues). It’s weird. I guess regina just makes the most of the miniscule amount of time her eyes are open. Or perhaps women are just that much more observant than men… In the interim my sister txted to inform me that my nephew had learned to roll over. Ahhh, love that little guy! Then my best friend texted to ask if I still had a job. LOL So anyone who was concerned, yes I definitely still have a job and even made my best paycheck ever last week. Regina is a good motivator, perhaps... Regina came out wearing the dress she’d worn in Baltimore and all I could think was, “gosh, that dress is WAY longer than I remember.” Until I realized my view of her legs had been mostly obscured in Baltimore, so apparently I only imagined the dress being shorter. Anyway…. not tonight, the low stage made for prime viewing, legs, feet and all. And good it was for Ain’t No Cover. However, during The Calculation, 3 photographers moved in and began snapping away. At that moment the low stage was no longer cool nor a blessing. There was no “pit” so to speak and these camera wielding people were RIGHT there in front of us and also RIGHT there in front of regina. The camera action was relentless and excessive, if you ask me. The clicking was just as impossible to ignore as the climbing, stooping, and leaning in to-get-the-perfect-shot antics. Regina tried to pause between songs, push back from the mic and smile. You know, give them what they wanted. Unfortunately that did nothing to reduce the onslaught of clicking that permeated Small Town Moon. You could tell she was bothered, but didn't say it. And for a while the photographers truly WERE the show, not regina, which was annoying, but all I could do was laugh about it. Laugh I did (and take pictures of them taking pictures, lol) because I knew they had to go away after the 4th song. Thankfully they departed right on schedule, but not before leaving a small box on the stage. Regina noticed immediately and went to retrieve it. “A tiny me!” she squealed gleefully, examining the miniature far/laughing with video themed diorama. She carefully placed it in front of the amp before going on to play Ode to Divorce. Between songs someone yelled, “thank you for existing.” Which elicited a small yet perfect dialogue about how good it was that we were all existing there together and how “existence is pretty fucking cool. Though actually maybe non-existence is really really cool too. I don’t know. I don’t remember it.” Good point. Brilliant as always, with the absolute best delivery as well. For the record, because maybe I haven’t said it enough, I love Patron Saint. I’m ever so happy it’s alive again. The distinct red and blue lights mixing to make purple as she sings it have become familiar now. It’s truly remarkable that I get to hear it every single show these days. Plus, it gives me hope for other old songs like it. Same goes for All the Rowboats. After watching her perform it numerous times, I’ve noticed that, quite consistently, she opens her eyes and usually smiles at the line “here’s your ticket welcome to the tombs.” That line is not in “her” voice; it’s some museum employee speaking. It seems to sort of dislodge her from the song; someone else going on about tickets, so she’s free to look around and smile. It’s subtle. It’s fascinating. It’s why her songs are magical. Regina was having such a good time at this show. You could tell because she was, in the words of tyra banks, “smizing” through most everything even behind closed eyelids. Directing the band broadly at the beginning of How she looked so happy. Even the end of Blue Lips was much more smile than pain. The audience was way, WAY better than in Cleveland. Yes, people still talked and sang (you’re not going to eliminate that at a GA show) but not to obnoxious levels overall. Nothing was bringing me down at this show my face was already hurting from excessive smiling by the time Call them Brothers rolled around. It hurt even more when at one point she sang an entire word to me. Which sounds insane, but she looked at me and sang sending an intense jolt through my spine that felt like both panic and pleasure. It had never happened before, a completely new feeling. At the end of the song though, reg was suspiciously eyeing the left side of the audience. There was some noise happening. Jack exited and she went to the keyboard for Dance Anthem. Making it through only a couple of lines she stopped abruptly, the audience, trying to keep her going, continued singing. But she hadn’t stopped because she forgot the lines, “I had this feeling like some shit was going down over there. I just wanted to make sure everything was ok. Is there or isn’t there?” she worried. “Well if some shit goes down, you just tell me. I’m really tough. I’ve got these guns.” she said, pointing to her bicep. Completely adorable. I have no clue what, if anything, was actually going down over there, but before continuing regina informed everyone, with all the charm in the world, that, basically, they could just go to a bar and drink if they didn’t want to listen to her. Ohh my heart. <3 <3 <3 Back at the piano we eventually came to Ne Me Quitte Pas which is already a really fun song, but she elevated it to the next level when near the end, after I love paris in the rain she added, “and Detroit! also in the rain.” Yep, my face was broken from excessive smiling. How can anyone even take it?!?! Looove and I’m not even from michigan, ha!!! My smile got a small respite when right in the middle of Firewood some girl behind me decided to TAKE A PHONE CALL and was talking super loudly in Mandarin or some other language I didn’t understand. I wanted to break her. Hello, sorry, regina is trying to sing about death here, SHUT UP! Also the drums started overtaking everything in a very bad way. They were louder than regina’s voice. Hate. Oh Marcello was worse, drums percussing me to death. We moved on to Ballad of a Politician and after the intro and just a bit, regina decided that she heard some feedback or something weird in the lower register and stopped because she needed to fix it. I didn’t hear it, evidentially neither did the girls who kept urging her that it sounded fine. Oh how I adore your perfectionist tendencies regina. I promise it’s ok to be a psycho like that, you should see me at work. Anyway, whatever it was gave us the opportunity to hear the glorious intro of that song twice, so I’ll take it. Smiling again. People were really into Sailor Song and regina rocked it, drawing out the she-e-e-e-e-e-e near the end a terrifically long time. She mistakenly bolted directly into Open, forgetting about that mystical little sound that’s supposed to be at the start. All smiles and swearing, she restarted, hitting a wrong note before settling in to the song for good. Unfortunately the drums were again blaring to outrageous levels once they came in. As much as I hated that, I couldn’t really hear regina anyway due to some girl singing right into my left ear. I figured what the hell? I wanted those drums louder LOUDER, loud enough to silence the girl. Death. Same story with The Party- girl singing and drums killing everything. But something magical did happen during that one. I heard/read about this happening elsewhere at some point and was sooo excited when a swell of applause erupted mid-song at the line “for all the friends we have lost, let’s give them one more round of applause.” Makes you feel warm on the inside. So good. The encore carried on normally. And I was happy that she was again doing Hotel Song, I definitely missed it in Cleveland. 2/3 of the way through the song, some guy to the left attempted to climb over the barrier, but security got to him before his toe ever touched the floor and removed him instantly. I’m not entirely sure regina even saw this since her eyes were closed. Either way, I was impressed with security. No getting on regina’s stage here son! Woot! Finally, at very the end of Hotel Song, it happened, after all this time, regina saw that little girl. I’m not 100% positive, but I think she was standing on the ground looking THROUGH the barrier. Regina’s response to seeing her was just as I’d imagined, better actually. Her face overtaken by a huge smile, she waved, and waved again, eyes wide, kind of in awe of this adorable little child. Hands down best part of the night. My face was officially dead from smiling. As regina started Samson, I was actually crying from overwhelming happiness. At the end of the show, the girl’s dad had lifted her up and regina walked right out to the edge of the stage to ask what her name was. The girl responded and regina, still smiling in amazement, told her she’d gotten the girl’s letter. I’m pretty certain she made that little girl’s life. And well mine too, just witnessing the scene. Afterwards we talked to her, she was SO pleased that regina had seen her and gotten her letter. She told us how much fun she had, and we readily agreed. It’s funny just how well a 6 year-old was fitting right in with us. haha Untiringly she continued talking, offering that the first song of regina’s she ever heard was Us. And when asked what her favorite song was she replied, “Ne Me Quitte Pas.” Tiny, adorable, with such good taste in music, and now saying things in French! My night was already the best, but having that little girl there made it even a million times better. It’s really not every show you that you get to spend with a kindergarten-age, completely-serious regina fan. There’s something special about being around the unbridled joy and immense energy of a child. I was extra happy that she had such a great experience and that I got to share it with her. The venue staff which had to this point been the most fun, most professional of all time was now a population of red shirted women who were really trying to shove everyone out the door as fast as possible. Meh… It was pouring outside. This should be fun… And there was a huge number of people waiting for by the bus. Barriers set all over the place. It certainly wasn’t the best. I managed to accomplish my mission, which was to point out, esp to her tour manager, that the Chicago theatre staff had treated everyone, including regina, like shit last time she played there and if that could not happen this time, well, I’d be happier. It’s all out of my hands, but at least I planted that seed. It’s really hard to measure and be objective, but this was very possibly the most fun I’ve had at a show this tour. Really, the crowd was great and engaging, but not utterly out of control. Security was functional and informative without being rude. Most importantly, Regina seemed to be having the best time. Worth the trip, no question. It was such an awesome night. -------------------- (sorry, didn't realize how bad it was going to get. Just kept going though...) <---see the tiny regina at the beginning <---existence is cool <--- And Detroit! <---complete stop and restart, double intro <---tiny messup <---best thing ever at the end