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almostspotless

10/6 Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts; Storrs, CT

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Oh no, I wish we could have met you! I feel like we have been to so many of the same shows, and have never seen each other.
I know! Ah. It's all my fault. I've kind of been conflicted on whether I want anonymity here or not. You all seem like cool people and I would like to meet you guys. I just don't know. I've never met people I've only talked to online before. I'm probably being really silly. I was almost ready to go and try to find the bus on our way out and at the very least bump elbows and meet Regina, but everyone else was ready to go home.

But I think I might be open to a meetup with some of the folks around here. You could probably talk me into such an event...

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I know! Ah. It's all my fault. I've kind of been conflicted on whether I want anonymity here or not. You all seem like cool people and I would like to meet you guys. I just don't know. I've never met people I've only talked to online before. I'm probably being really silly. I was almost ready to go and try to find the bus on our way out and at the very least bump elbows and meet Regina, but everyone else was ready to go home.

But I think I might be open to a meetup with some of the folks around here. You could probably talk me into such an event...

Oh, I completely understand. It is a little nerve wracking losing your internet anonymity... suddenly, you're accountable for your actions! :o (I kid, I kid.) But on the upside, you always have people to chat with after Jack's set, and we can all bathe in the utter bliss of post-Regina show glory together as well.

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I know, I'm the slowest person on earth. Love me anyway?

Of all the shows I planned to go to, I was probably most excited about this one. Regina shows at colleges are just awesome. There’s something about the atmosphere that’s a little more lax. It’s more fun and less “professional” (not in terms of her performance, but like the venue is just not as well-oiled a machine as a regular venue and college students are not, like, HIAS benefactors, if you get my drift) and regina talks a lot because she needs to impart wisdom on the young’ens. Plus it’s just really fun to go to colleges.

After relaxing all day in Connecticut we gathered for a brumstix dinner in the slightly grey, but very pretty fall evening. As always, it was a pleasure getting together. Already so happy and the night was just beginning. After eating, we set off toward the venue and met up with a few more stixers, always a bonus. The Jorgensen was smaller and more rectangular than expected. As I took my seat in the second row, I couldn’t help but notice how exceptionally comfortable it was. Those suckers were green and thickly padded and even had cup holders. Huge thumbs up for this venue. Winner in the comfort department hands down. I fortuitously overheard the school reporter talking to some girls nearby. I truly love eavesdropping on journalist types to see what their angle is going to be. It’s almost guaranteed to be hilarious because they usually just wikipedia-ed regina 10 minutes ago and enjoy sharing their “wealth” of knowledge with people overexuberantly. This guy was just happy that he had a good seat in the 5th row and was getting PAID to be there. Sounds good to me. The best part was when he told the girls, “I’m not even a good writer.” He was cute. It made me miss college for a second. LOL You can see his review HERE.

Jack came out alone, no band except the ipod at this show. Apparently it’s more affordable to transport than 5 guys, who knew? He was still getting used to being alone with the ipod, so his awkward rambling act between songs was extra funny. And yes, I’m a big fan the animal called crickets, especially if they get us Kick ‘em Out. I was quite excited to hear that one. The audience was pretty quiet and receptive of Jack. Although before playing his last song he made the requisite announcement that he was going to do one more song, and after that Regina would be coming out. Someone in the balcony shouted down, “Hurry Up!” Jack paused and then retorted, “I heard you, and I will break you.” Hahahahaha. perfect. There was that, and the girl in front of me, with a massive amount of blonde hair which she kept pushing back, leaning continuously to the right on the arm rest, like she was the most bored person on earth who just wanted to sleep. Odd, considering she had one of the best seats in the front row…hmm maybe regina would perk her up.

Between sets we utilized the excessively wide floorspace between the stage and the front row for a brumstix gathering & unveiling of the new book. The book was as impressive as it was heartwarming, so much love for regina and for everyone who made pages. We’re a pretty creative bunch. =) I love these shows when a ton of you are there with me. It’s kind of incredible, like a hug that doesn’t end. <3

Anyway, back in my seat, I noticed the bored girl had now, thankfully, put her hair up, so no more blonde flyaways obscuring my sight. However, nobody had come to sit next to her and I seriously considered moving up there I decided against it since she clearly needed that seat to lean over into for her nap! I didn’t get it. Even when regina did come out she didn’t perk up all that much, it was strange. When regina made her appearance, she was wearing a knee-length dark blue dress trimmed with sequins (ohhhh how I’m a sucker for navy blue) belted with a black bow in the middle, plus the usual black tights and shoes. Her nails were freshly polished in red, hair curly and again pinned back! My excitement was out of control. Seeing her two nights in a row?! Crazy, the best kind. Staff was a little bipolar regarding cameras. Some people were yelling at audience members for using them, others TOLD us it was fine as long as no flash, I honestly couldn’t tell what the climate was, so after they yelled at someone near me I kept mine mostly hidden underneath a jacket so please forgive some of my horrible filming.

After Ain’t No Cover regina went to the piano and discussed the Connecticut Repertory Theater whose members were missing her show to perform UNDERNEATH us (honestly whose idea was that? It just seemed slightly doomed). In addition, she pointed out that people who were students last time they played this venue would be considered superseniors if they were still there today. Nevertheless, she gave them props for delaying reality. lol As Regina continued on, playing rather flawlessly, I was impressed by the sound in the venue, it was really very good. It made the songs feel huge, as if you were inside them. Difficult to describe and definitely unique. All the Rowboats, especially, sounded incredible and reverberous (is that even a word? If not blame JOY…). And as I physically vibrated in my seat I mused, “this is what the song FEELS like, WOW!” Intense. It was an experience. Regina thought so too, apparently, because afterward she commented about the hollowness of the stage and how the song “just vibrated the fuck” out of her foot. We were totally on the same wavelength. ;)

The crowd was generally respectful, but with zillions of shout outs. A guy in the balcony yelled down that he had shaved for her. She smiled, and then a GIRL also made the same comment. Regina responded wistfully, “Ah, college.” As she was readying for Call them Brothers, an onslaught of song requests began filing in (I heard at least Chemo Limo, Buildings, and several Samsons) and then some guy, of course, yelled, “play whatever YOU want!” She took a shine to that, and informed the audience that there’s always one nice person who says it. “Do you the rest of you feel guilty?” she asked with a mock pensive squint and the most perfectly coy tilt of her head. “It’s alright, I’m Jewish from New York; I’m allowed to make you feel guilty.” Jack came out, and nobody missed a beat when regina matter-of-factly introduced the song as “Call them Bros.” I had to laugh, because it was cute, and because nobody else responded. A short way into the song there came an abnormal pause as Jack’s hand took leave of strumming the guitar to adjust his microphone. Regina’s face transformed into a wide expectant smile, urging the next chord. Oh subtlety, how unbearably sweet.

Back at the piano, some guy yelled a cringeworthy remark about returning to russia to spread their seed, and regina acknowledged it as convenient transition to the next song, The Prayer. She made some comments to the effect of how impressed she’d be if anyone there had actually learned Russian in school- she doesn’t “understand how you did that” because she wouldn’t know it if she wasn’t born there. So funny. And yeah, for the record, learning russian is freaking difficult. I work on it in my car all the time when I’m driving. Anyway, at some point during this song two random guys walked right up to the front and planted themselves in the center of the floor with an open mug of something I’m sure wasn’t water. After the song, the one kid decided to start up a conversation with regina about the water (Uconn labeled bottled water she was drinking), if it was good, if they [the school] were good. I’m sure it was a little strange, at least momentarily, for her to look down and have two boys just sitting on the floor in front of her in this grand theater. After a few tentative comments to them and another gulp of water, she leaned into the microphone firmly stating, “Yeah it’s FUCKIN’ good, it’s water!” Then she got up and walked to the keyboard. Meanwhile, security came over and shined a bright light into the kid’s face and gave him a stern talking to (which I believe consisted of, “be quiet or else”), but didn’t remove him from the floor. Since security failed to make an example of him, there was a mass exodus of other people flooding into the floorspace in front of the stage during Dance Anthem. Apparently Dance Anthem= free for all time at every show. It was all just a big question mark as to what was about to go down, I didn’t know and regina didn’t either as we each watched, from our respective sides, the space between us fill up with people during the course of the song. Roughly 40 people were there by the end of Dance Anthem, and more continued to trickle down for the rest of the show. Security didn’t seem to care as long as they stayed sitting down, which was fine with me too. Regina was amused, but made sure we were all ok before proceeding with Better. The whole scene was far from conventional, but it’s a college show that’s what makes it awesome. Random shit is bound to go down.

Somewhere during The Party I was taken by the thought that I’d just heard Regina sing All the Rowboats, Folding Chair, Open, and now The Party- 4 songs with “weird” noises in them all at one show. To me it was nothing (well not nothing, but it wasn’t strange, it was just regina). But it was fun trying to imagine how overwhelmed some “quirky pop-chanteuse” writing journalist might be with that setlist. I guess it’s hard for some people to comprehend that sounds are just sounds. Just because something isn’t an English word that Taylor Swift or Justin Beiber would use doesn’t mean it’s a “quirk.” But, ehh, I digress.

The Encore went into total breakdown when loads of people took over the front and remained standing. Funnily enough, the bored girl who’d been leaning over even during regina’s set perked right up and bolted out of her seat during the encore just to get several feet closer to the stage. I still have no idea what to make of her. Haha The original floor guy was at the very front, right by regina, clapping along very poorly and unnecessarily during Us, to the point of making regina mess up. Smiling with amusement she informed him that he was too tipsy to keep time and then finished the song. The rest of the Encore, I just had to go with it and have fun. People were dancing and walking around and I couldn’t help but be entertained and invigorated by the energy in the room. It was a blast.

Afterwards we hung out in the lobby and talked to Jack for a bit. Killing time before heading out into the chilly night, we watched on the screens as the crew packed the piano into a humongous box (I’ve always wondered exactly how they did that). Luckily it wasn’t raining out, but there were a ton of people waiting for regina. We waited our turn, and the book hand off couldn’t have gone more perfectly. She was soooo happy. She hugged it. We took a group picture. The whole thing- it was truly the embodiment of love. I hugged her and told her I was bringing my dentist friends to the next show (in Cleveland). Her fist shot into the air and she cheered “Fight Cavities!” =D Every now and then something that seems too good to be true, can actually be true. This was one of those times. Walking back to the car I felt lighter, I felt like I was being lifted up, like I was being hugged. As I drove home the next day the feeling was still with me I didn’t ever want it to ever go away. Amazing, amazing weekend. Love to you all who were there and who were there in the book and who were just there in spirit. Can’t wait to do it again!

Videos-

Only Son

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<----w/ intro talking

<---w/ talking about vibrating the stage

<---just watch it because I said so

<--- w/ talking about russian

<---yeah, it's fucking good it's water

(intro only, but it's still awesome)

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