Indie songstress Regina Spektor played Radio City Music Hall last night, sharing her idiosyncratic art-pop with an audience of downtown scenesters, vocally-demonstrative devotees and even some nine-year-olds up past their bedtimes.
First things first, the answer to the most pressing question on your mind: YES, Regina did adopt a fish face while making seal/walrus noises during “Folding Chair.” Aside from maritime impressions, Spektor was graceful and composed, spending most of the evening seated behind a sleek expansive black piano.
The magnitude and majesty of Radio City—not to mention the adoring fans that hung on her every syncopated syllable—did seem to have an effect on her. Spektor bashfully told the audience being in Radio City, “Feels like a dream. I’m so grateful.” It’s not hard to understand her reaction. Sure, “Fidelity” and “On the Radio” are inviting pop songs, but it’s rare to see so an enormous crowd of “regular people” shrieking with excitement over such willfully weird music.
Most of the set was from Far, her latest album. During “One More Time with Feeling” she demonstrated an impressive ability to sing her own background vocals, and the New Order flavor she gave to “Dance Anthem of the ’80s”—her staccato ode to young love—was a welcome addition.
The best moment of the night was the evening’s last song, “Love, You’re a Whore,” an as-yet-unrecorded art-pop take on a galloping country tune. With the four-person string section behind her, it was a loose orchestral hoedown and a satisfying way to send her fans off into the drizzly Manhattan night.