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2012-10-05 Veterans Memorial Auditorium; Providence, RI

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Let me start by saying, I was massively stressed out before making this trip. My blood was boiling due to things unrelated, and I was a tad worried about the super long drive, and actually making it for the show on time. I finished with my patients ASAP and bolted out the door at 10:26am to begin the 452mi trip to Providence. My staff enjoys encouraging my little trips and went so far as to let me borrow an EZPass to aid in expeditious travel. I may have sped just a little I-80 because I was worried about hitting a ton of traffic in CT…but who’s counting?? I opted to avoid 95 which seemed (and I was correct by all accounts) like such a cluster, by going up i-81 to i-84. Anyway…very pleased about THAT decision. I made it to Providence by about 6pm. The drive was cathartic, the further I drove the calmer I felt. Like I was driving further and further away from the shit in my life towards regina. I’d never been to Rhode Island before and got a kick out of reading all the roadside ads for “Snow plowing Statewide!” and the like. Hahaha tiny state. Yeah…that’s not happening in PA.

The venue location was nice, RIGHT by the capitol building and a huge mall with a lot of activity. As I was waiting outside the venue for a bit, I saw Jack and his musicians, complete with instruments, running in the front doors of the venue at 6:37. Eventually I went inside alone since none of the other stixers had shown up yet. I had a good position in the second row right beside a Russian girl and a person I presumed to be her mother. I actually had a seat in the front row left as well, so I moved over to it for Only Son’s set so I could see better. I know, I’m insane. Jack with band minus the tambourine player and plus a different guitarist played their regular set, perhaps a bit more energetically, since the new guitarst seemed to be really into it. One shout out for Magic which Jack promised and later did deliver. Some evil old venue lady who was showing people their seats scolded me just for having a camera, which really freaked me out. Moments afterwards a burly security guy came over to discuss the camera, but ended up telling me it was fine as long as it wasn’t professional. It still made me paranoid. So I didn’t get much from Jack’s set this show. Next time…

I moved back to my other seat to await Regina. I don’t know if it was the drive that purged all my stress or what, but I have never been so calm waiting for regina to come out. My stomach was still in a knot but I wasn’t shaking and sweating, for possibly the first time ever. This was regina, I didn’t have to wonder if she would disappoint me. The answer is always No. The room darkened and she was there. The tiny figure in black, practically skipping onto the stage, was wearing pants and, as she would point out later, the shirt from the NMQP video. Her hair pinned back on the right side (yayy!!!) no longer straightened, she smiled and began to sing Ain’t No Cover. After singing one line she halted, explaining that she was “broken.” After a quick onstage fix by the soundguy, cheered on by the audience, she carried on. I was quite at ease in my seat as Regina struggled to refamiliarize herself with the setup at the piano, remarking about her own weirdness. When she finally played The Calculation, I listened fully and even managed to hold the camera mercifully still for once. It was the best. After a slight messup during Small Town Moon, she kept it going for a bit until full-on band breakdown set in and she opted to restart. Adorable (and still very far from sounding shitty…). As is typical, between songs some guy shouted down, “You’re Amazing!” The always-modest regina responded, “wow even after all that? I’m just going to try not to fuck up everything.” Blue Lips seemed especially angry to me, the words “become enslaved” in particular seemed to have extra venom. And when you think about it, why shouldn’t they? She always seems so passionate about Blue Lips and tonight was no exception, it was just a slight uniquely angry vibe and I certainly appreciated the opportunity to think about it in that way. The Russians next to me were clapping with overjoyed excitement when she said she was going to play The Prayer. It was awesome. I love love love watching/hearing her sing in Russian. It’s incredibly captivating. I feel as if not understanding the words literally kind of makes for a purer experience of appreciating her singing. Her enunciation of some words is definitely different (and better of course!) live than on the album. And near the end, the word FIRE (if I’m not mistaken) she takes to heartbreakingly gorgeous pain/volume levels akin to ink stains. Pure amazing. Ballad of a Politican intro is still so luxurious for me, I can’t get enough! The red lighting color scheme takes that song to an even scarier place. Blood? Russia? I don’t know, but it sure isn’t gonna be good. Haha Plus she likened the band to the CIA before playing it which was so funny. “We’re like CIA over here, a really shitty artsy version…we know lyrics but no intelligence. Well some intelligence, but not that kind.” Regina introduced Ode to Divorce by saying, “this is a really old song” which is true, but gah, she can’t stay stuff like that without getting me all overwrought with excitement, expectations through the roof just to play a song she’s played at practically every show since 2008, not fair!

Jack came out for Call them Brothers while regina entertained us by demonstrating “the thinker” poses and musing about whether or not she could sing like that. Adorable!!! In the end, she stood. She also stood for Dance Anthem which really got the crowd rowdy. The section to my left had a bunch of drunk people in it who had been singing poorly throughout, but during dance anthem droves of them stood up and were making “charge” motions with their fists outstretched. I wasn’t too sure, but reg smiled at them nonetheless. After Dance Anthem, when regina was going back to the piano some random [drunk] girl just casually sauntered up to the stage and said, “regina…” then stood there waiting for a reply. Awkward. Regina didn’t acknowledge her and luckily security soon came to drag her away. More drunken antics during Folding Chair, toward the end where it slows down considerably, the line Till that day just please don't be so down was followed by some guy emphatically saying “don’t make frowns” which she definitely seemed to hear before proceeding with the line herself.

The audience was certainly more affected by substances and seemed to me a bit less loving than the crowd in Baltimore. One guy with a perfect seat in the front row left mid-show and returned smelling like pot, and he wasn’t the only one. Who does that?! I think Regina is the only drug you need! I kind of made peace with the wrong-way piano setup at this show (didn’t take me long, I know.). Facing this direction, the audience gets to see the “fun” leg (not the “boring” pedal leg. Lol) During The Party, she kind of lifted her left leg and tapped the tip of her toe on the floor under the piano bench, as an exclamation point on the line “you taste like birthday.” I was sold. After much clapping and carrying on, an encore of 4 songs included Samson this time. Finally, after a long bit of smiling and waving at the audience and looking as if she might cry, regina exited the stage.

Downstairs afterwards a girl and her boyfriend were discussing the show. He was like, “well she did kinda mess up...” She responded, “I wouldn’t really consider that bad. I mean, it didn’t sound bad. It made everything even better.” I couldn't agree more.

You can see pics here-


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