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The Chicago show!

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I know people have posted about the show here on the Stix and on Facebook groups, but I wanted to type up my thoughts about the new material as well...

 

The show itself was capital "I" incredible. It was like 3 hours long because Regina was nervous as shit and kept messing up -- which was awesome for us because, like, then we could hear the stuff again...and sometimes again and again ;) -- but I felt awful for her! She was real freaked out, but powered through was characteristically badass. I can't wait to watch it again!

 

Pretty sure she played the whole album, and at least one song from the deluxe version. Some Begin to Hope songs were played as well, and Us. This is the setlist as far as I can remember. It's sort of in chronological order, but don't take it for gospel. :) I think she followed the tracklisting of the CD for the most part.

 

On the Radio

Better (after Better and before Bleeding Heart, Regina hilariously issued "Not a warning...and not a disclaimer...but this is the first time we've ever played these new songs...")

Bleeding Heart

Older and Taller

Grand Hotel

Small Bill$

Black and White

Hotel Song

The Light

The Trapper and the Furrier

Tornadoland (maaaybe...)

Us

Obsolete

Sellers of Flowers

The Visit

New Year

You've Got Time

Fidelity

On the Radio (again)

Trapper and the Furrier (again)

Bleeding Heart (again)

Samson!

 

The new stuff is so good. These are my rambly thoughts about each new song:

  • Bleeding Heart: Sound much more "classically" Regina live, with a string section. Go figure. The song has grown on me a whole lot since it came out, so hearing it live was, like, triply joyous. The second time she played it she forgot the words to the final part "How long must I cry...till you know that you really tried..." The whole evening she was talking about how things seemed so surreal and looked weird, so I hope she felt all right! Eventually Jack told her the words through her headset, prompting a "Thank God for Jack Dishel" from Regina and copious cheers from the audience.
  • Older and Taller: IS SO GOOD. "I remember you older and taller, but you're really younger and smaller..." (Not exact lyrics, but gisty.) It's real fun and beautiful.
  • Grand Hotel: One of my standouts for the evening. All about a hotel with an "elevator to hell" underneath.
  • Small Bill$: This song was craaazy. It's Regina at the mic with a very sinister sounding string part (I think, in that video of Regina dancing while her orchestra practiced, they were rehearsing Small Bill$.) She does this cool "La la la la..." part, and exaggerates the pronunciation of "Coca Coooooola." I loved it!
  • Black and White: This was a pretty song, but I don't remember it very well, unfortunately. (I guess my memory can only fit in so much awesome shit for one night. ;) ) Kind of How-y. I'm excited to hear it again!
  • The Light: Oh my God, guys. This song is so, so beautiful... Lines I remember: "I know that the morning is wiser than the evening..." "You and your daddy look like poets..." and an incredible chorus of "The light is shining in my eyes, the light is shining in my eyes..." with Regina going real high.
  • The Trapper and the Furrier: HOLY SHIT DUDES. THIS SONG. BALLS TO THE WALL. Song starts with Regina standing at the mic, singing about a trapper and a furrier taking a walk through paradise and collecting the pelts of "clawless and toothless" animals. The chorus/bridge thing is Regina balladry, ending with her yelling "More, more, more, MORE!" before the song EXPLODED into this incredible drum/cello driven part...I've had this song stuck in my head. There's a line about PowerPoint presentations, which Regina calls "power presentations" and reminds me of that line in The Clocks Were Asleep ("The gentleman giving the power presentation felt a bayonet scar on his shoulder reopen...") 
  • Tornadoland: The song I think is Tornadoland may or may not be Tornadoland. The lyrics of the song in question dealt with storms. Another song I don't remember very well, but not because it wasn't incredible! Again, my memory, I guess, has an awesome quota.
  • Obsolete: Man, this was heartwrenching. All about feeling useless. It reminded me of how I felt when I was struggling with depression. Pretty sure Regina was crying by the end...could have been my mind playing tricks, though. :) She also played it after she fucked "Us" up and had to take a couple-minute breather, so I think she was feeling kind of shitty, too. Regardless, she knocked this song out of the park. Fuck, it was good.
  • Sellers of Flowers: Very pretty! About roses surviving winter in street lights. That's all I really remember, along with some stuff about fathers and daughters...
  • The Visit: Another pretty ballad! Don't remember a lot -- the narrator is glad someone came to visit because "You always make me smile."
  • New Year: A knockout song. "She sets her alarm for five minutes to midnight" so she can wake up and greet the New Year. The narrator is reflective and glad to be alive, to see another spring "come to this town." Kind of love-lettery to New York City. Very, very pretty.

 

In general, the new stuff seems really concerned with light, specifically light shining in your eyes. Lots of songs have lines about opening eyes and seeing light...I'm sensing a theme? :)

 

Neither Stay nor Party Upstairs made an appearance. I was hopeful when Jack came onstage and grabbed his guitar, but it ended up being You've Got Time. I talked to Jack after the show, and mentioned Party Upstairs and he said they haven't even recorded it yet! Regina did say they're thinking about playing it later in the tour, though.

 

Phillipa Soo (of Hamilton fame) was present, and we (the group of 9 who waited to meet Reg at the end of the show) saw her leave the parking lot. None of us knew her name at the time, though, and we weren't totally confidant it was her, prompting us to joke about calling "the Hamilton girl" over for a picture.

 

Regina came out about 2 hours after the show, and she was so damn awesome. She totally used my Sharpie to sign everyone's shit...I got a pic with her and a funny one with Jack (I asked him to look bored, because hey, funny!).

 

I hung out with a fellow Stixer (Czenia! Did I spell that right? Probably not. :) ) who was wearing a bomb "Never never mind" shirt (the one from the Bleeding Heart single cover) that Regina and Jack loved. I think Jack pointed it out to Regina first, who went "WHAT! You made it real!"

 

Everyone was so awesome and the show was awesome and awesomeawesomeawesome. This was real rambly, but I'm tired and wired and was temporarily homeless in Chicago after getting locked out after the show but...man. What. An. Experience.

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Ah, I should have waited afterwards! I ended up getting something to eat with a fellow Spektor fan I met prior to the show. I totally know of the girl with the shirt. Made a comment to her about it. Really cool.

 

I said it elsewhere, but the show was really amazing - like, "top concerts that I'll carry with me to my grave" amazing.

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Thanks for all the deets!  :D  I have missed her so much so it was especially nice to read this post! I absolutely cannot wait to hear these songs! 

 

I am also jealous you got to hangout with Ksenia! She is wonderful! 

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Thanks so much for the elaborate report! I always love reading about people's experiences at Regina's shows and the fact that she played all these new songs makes it even more exciting. Also, I think you remembered a lot more about each song than I would have.

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