It was intriguing to reconcile the unassuming young woman with the wide smile and the shy “thank-yous” (whenever the raucous applause greeted her efforts) with the musical powerhouse that was unleashed at the Esplanade Theatre on the Saturday evening before Christmas 2012.
By all accounts, music fans in Singapore have been waiting for Regina Spektor for a couple of years now and she kept the audience in bated breath for a bit longer than was necessary after Other Son had completed his quirky smart pop set. But all was forgiven and forgotten the moment, Spektor walked onto the stage and sat at the lavish grand piano prepared for her.
Although backed by a drummer, a cellist and a keyboard player there was little doubt that Spektor was the star of the show, holding the attention of a adoring crowd easily with her piano playing and of course, her powerful vocals. But above all that were the magnificent distinctive songs. With Spektor, it is difficult to play the pigeon-holing game cos even though it would be possible to point to McCartney or Nyro or a thousand different classical music composers but in the final analysis, Spektor is a striking original.
Most of her new material on latest album – What We Saw From the Cheap Seats – was performed with aplomb, including a tear jerking “Firewood” – possibly one of the finest renditions ever witnessed. Naturally, older familiar songs were also trotted out to acclaim – “Better”, “Fidelity”, “Ode to Divorce” and “Samson”.
A special concert, unforgettable and incandescent, emotional and technically proficient. Here’s to hoping Regina Spektor returns to our shores sooner than later! Bravo!
Thanks to Greenhorn Productions for making this review possible. Photos courtesy of Joanna Kwa.