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Be like the water, people.

Cleveland HoB October 12, 2012

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The show was super great! The crowd was super chatty and sang along loudly the entire time. I guess her GA shows are generally like that though. It didn't really matter though because Regina was great regardless of all the noise :) She kept giving these looks at the crowd for them to stop talking but she was smiling the whole time so it was just adorable. She also played sailor song which was nice cause I haven't heard her play it yet on this tour. She omitted hotel song though. Jack was great as well too! Oh and Cleveland is really chilly in October!

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Yep, this may have been my fav outfit so far! I've got like 500 pics. I'm still getting through the UConn stuff now but I promise comprehensive coverage of this too as soon as I can.

For now I hope this helps!

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Oh Cleveland, Cleveland… At roughly 3.5 hours drive this was physically the closest show of the entire tour to where I actually live. Plus after having lived in Cleveland for 4 years, I can pretend to be from there if I want, but then again why would I want to? Lol jk/ kinda. An easy familiar drive and I was at the venue just before 3pm trying to get the box office to hold a ticket for a friend who was going to arrive after doors. They refused (really!??!?!?!?!) because it was a sold out show. Whatever the heck that has to do with anything. :/ Super frustrated at that moment, but I did see reg’s band coming in for soundcheck. I left the venue to go make sure everyone else was accounted for and, driving around the city on a gorgeously sunny afternoon I saw a bunch of newly constructed townhouses, I watched a guy leaving the dental school after an interview, I noticed that my old apartment building had new windows, and I began to feel excessively nostalgic. Apparently, this night was going to be more emotional than I expected.

We arrived a little late for our 5pm dinner reservation, but managed to eat and get in the early entry line before 6:45. Despite having been to this venue numerous times, I’ve never come in the side door like that before. When I walked in, all I could think was “whoa, this place is WAY smaller than I remember.” According to the box office it holds 1200, so definitely smaller than some of the other recent venues. Anyway, after chatting with some girls from Kent State, I managed to wedge myself into the front row next to them. It was their first time and they were really hoping for Folding Chair. We informed them that chances were good, and luckily regina didn’t make me a liar. ;) As the wait grew longer and people began absolutely crushing in, the room was hot and loud and jostling and all the things the last 3 seated venues had almost made me forget about.

I was thankful when Jack began to play, but felt excessively tense, a lump already in my throat. I wasn’t liking where this was headed (for me, in my own headspace). As he played along with the ipod, my weeping commenced at the first line of Kick ‘em Out. “I could never pay this debt I owe…” which pretty much sums up how I feel about the last 5 years. There are no words of gratitude adequate enough for regina or to explain how lucky I feel to have been handed such a positive life altering experience in this very city. It still just blows my mind. I smiled hard though, when immediately after Jack played It’s A Boy, my friend leaned up to me and said, “Wow! THAT was such a good song.” My response exactly the first time I heard it too so…now I know why we are friends. yeahhh ;) More teary eyes, and cursing Jack for doing this to me, during Long Live the Future. Honestly, it’s Jack! I shouldn’t be like this! Sometimes he just kills me. As ridiculous as it sounds this show felt a little like the Dan Cho benefit to me. I’m sure not to anyone else, but I was so overwrought reflecting on the last 5 years of my life that I could barely keep it together.

The wait until 9:20 was borderline painful amid the sea of people, but my mind was going a mile a minute. I was close to breaking down from limbic system overload. When regina finally stepped out, hair again straightened, red nail polish now chipping (the way I like it best), wearing a super-cute short black and white striped lace dress over opaque black tights and her black patent leather tuxedo shoes she was only 3 arm lengths from me as she sang Ain’t No Cover. Really really close! The stage was pleasantly TINY and I could hear everything so well- each instrument incredibly distinctly. So props to the HOB for that I suppose. The crowd was rowdy and loud with excessive singalongs. You could tell regina was basking in it for a while, she smiled along through The Calculation and On the Radio at the crowd’s exuberance. But by Small Town Moon I was seriously over the crowd noise and perhaps regina was getting there too because she sort of retreated INTO the songs. I pressed my body forward firmly into the barrier and closed off the rest of the world; the entire maddening crowd fell away, until it was only she and I there. Worked like a charm. I was overwhelmed by thoughts that wouldn’t stop and found myself crying during How and All the Rowboats. All the rowboats?! Really???? Yes, there was something unbelievably striking about the way she writhed into the green light with the most achingly vacant expressions during the instrumental bit between verses. Like her body was there, but she’d left her own consciousness entirely to be IN that song. It was one of the highlights of the night for me. People cheered excessively (into the beginning of the song) and continued singing relentlessly during Blue Lips. Meanwhile, other people berated them for doing so. Regina kept looking out at us surely questioning wtf was happening? I mean…it’s Blue Lips STFU! Call them Brothers was the best, as usual, particularly when she made at eyes at me. Luckily I was smiling then.

Thank goodness for The Prayer since the vast majority of annoying Ohioans can’t sing in Russian. It was mercifully almost silent for once, except for my crying and that of the girl next to me. When did I turn into such a freak?!! I think I was so preoccupied with organizing friends and tickets and traveling and all that practical stuff that I failed to consider how monumental this show might feel. Only when I was in there did it start hitting me like a ton of bricks. Last time, or rather, the FIRST time I saw her, from up in the Agora Theater balcony she was this teeny little figure and now she was right there, life size. She was looking at me, smiling at ME. But more than that, it was all the stuff I’d done, all the growing up that happened, all the feelings I’d really let myself feel, all the trips to New York and everywhere else that I never would’ve made if it weren’t for her, all the friends I have now because she helped me find them, all the dark scary walks home alone at night that she sang to me, all of the desperately demoralizing days of dental school I survived nourished by her voice. I hadn’t sought her that first time. I hadn’t expected anything, let alone all this; yet, without regina, who/what/where would I even be now? Impact incalculable.

Moving right along... the continuance of more horrific singalongs. I think the girl on my right sang along for EVERY song except Prayer of Francois Villion. I wanted to smother her by the end. I mean oversinging regina is bad enough, but when you do it incredibly poorly, it’s is even more irritating. The girl actually said “frozen toes-es”, ugh. Overly hostile much? nah…not me… I was just oh-so wishing regina had opted for the Russian version of that song at that moment. Next, other people were being super loud and obnoxious during Firewood. My emotions during that song were ragingly bipolar. Dying crying, PEOPLE TALKING, death sadness, Regina looking around for the offenders- pissed but smiling, back to seriousnessssss, girl on my left bawling, me bawling…and oh god, I think I need a psychiatrist.

More crying etc., then Sailor Song. Yesss!!! I was so surprised when she didn’t play it at UConn, but I finally got it this tour. I was happy. Folding Chair; reg delivered for the girls next to me. Their excitement palpable as they raised nearly dead iphones to capture the song they’d been waiting practically all show for. Security was reasonably cool. They didn’t yell at me for taking videos, which I’ve gotten reamed out for doing at this venue in the past. However, very oddly, at one point some guy a few rows back and to the right yelled out, in Russian, “I love regina spektor” and a security guy came and pointed him out and sternly told him “NO” complete with throat cutting motions. Confused the guy replied, “wait…seriously?” which was my thought also, considering all the other far more stupid/inappropriate/loud/annoying things that had been shouted out all night and gone unpunished. Nevertheless, security was serious, and responded with a firm look before returning to his post. Things were winding down with Open when a decent way into the intro some girl loudly blurted out “This is my heaven right here!” Yeah, well it’s mine too, minus YOU. Gahhh! Regina gave her a look, wondering if it might be ok to proceed. I was kind of amazed, the whole show, she never had one harsh word for the audience despite their impolite and downright bad behavior at times. Even when she attempted to quiet the people with a look she was always smiling, never stern.

The encore is always just a total breakdown of singalongs, I expect that and clearly so does regina. Tonight they were out in full force for Us and Fidelity. Obviously live recs of Fidelity are not topping people’s playlists since they were butchering that one all over the place. Then regina unexpectedly, it seemed, sent the band away. As if she was going, but decided not, to do Hotel song. The musicians rather abruptly moved off the stage and Regina finished, alone, with Samson. Although partway through, she yanked the in-ear monitor out with a confused/pained expression and finished the song without it. She smiled and bowed and smiled some more and just as she was about to walk off, she waved at me, which elicited screeches of jealousy from some girls nearby. Oh my…I never thought I’d see the day when someone (other than my little sister) was jealous of me.

This was, by far, the shittiest audience of the shows I’ve been to for quite some time. Friday night drunk people in Cleveland at a GA show, what else would anyone expect? At least nobody got up on stage this time. I think I would’ve been far more distressed over this had I not been off in my own little world of wonderment and reflection on my life, largely shutting everyone else out. Regina was gracious, and handled whatever came, as usual. I don’t know how she deals with it, how she plays through, how she smiles when she must want to scream at people. I think based on this show she must be able to remove herself from the annoyance and leave us bothersome people standing there, while she goes away, into the song.

Talking to Jack afterward he asked, “so does it bother you when the audience does that?” I think 4 of us in unison responded with an emphatic, “YES!” Obviously…haha. While waiting for regina in the near freezing Cleveland night, we were accosted by quite a steady flow of homeless people asking for money. Most notably one guy who just needed 40cents so he could get to East Cleveland, hilarious. For those of you who don’t know, East Cleveland is SUPER ghetto (gas gets 20cents cheaper per gallon there, and your car will be consumed by the immense potholes in the road if you don’t drive <10mph, which you don’t want to do, lest you be shot). Also I don’t know what 40 cents gets you these days, but alright. Eventually regina came out and talked to us. She was still enthusiastic about the book. She said she admires it on the bus and it makes her so happy. Also the title is peeling up, but she is going to glue it back down. <3

Another amazing night, which was capped off back at a friend’s house with wine and homemade tiramisu and talking until 3am.

Vids (for the record the only sounds on these vids I take responsibility for are the laughing and the crying. NONE of the singing/talk is mine.)

@ 0:56 that was for me. :D

(aka SHUT UP CLEVELAND)

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Thanks a lot for that story :] It was a great read, and it just made me want to go to these sing-along people and put tape on their mouths. Heh, maybe that sounds creepy.. I just know how annoying that is. Especially when they get the lyrics wrong! Seriously, you've got a live lyrics-lesson right in front of you! But I hope Regina's wave at you made up for some of that. It's really awesome. :]

Thanks for the pictures. She looks really pretty. The 6th is probably my favorite, with her eyes wide open. Oh and also thanks for the update on the book :D Sounds like she's taking great care of it ^^

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It's funny, because judging by your video, I was just slightly to the left of you, and I definitely remember the constant singing (I was mouthing the words myself, not audible though, I'm awful lol), but all that talking was not going around right where I was. Maybe I was just so lost in the performance that I didn't notice, but listening to your audio makes me feel like I was at a different performance entirely, so odd..

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