Last Night: Regina Spektor at Warehouse Live

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Regina Spektor
November 7, 2007
Warehouse Live

Better Than: Stolichnaya

Download: “On the Radio” live video

Last night, a sold-out crowd pissed off Regina Spektor. Early into her set, Spektor declared that holding the mic entitled her to one request: quiet. “I can’t even hear myself think,” she complained. The audience, packed wall to wall, was dominated by college-age twentysomethings who couldn’t seem to hold their liquor.

“Isn’t there some sort of fuckin’ lounge that you could go to?” asked Spektor. Her sass garnered applause and set the tone for the rest of the show, as she proved to be not only a performer who owns the limelight but also one not afraid to toy with her audience.

Alone onstage with a shiny black concert grand piano, Spektor is even more impressive in person than in the studio. Her voice is pitch-perfect and crystal-clear, punctuated by the occasional intentional hiccup or growl. The audience chimed in during familiar tunes from last year’s Begin to Hope like “On the Radio,” “Better” and “That Time.” The Bronx (by way of Moscow) gal also delved into her back catalog with songs such as “Mary Ann” and “Poor Little Rich Boy.”

During the latter, she forgot the words while drumming with one hand and tinkling ivories with the other, resulting in the exclamation, “Fuck! I’m starting over!” Beginning the song again, she forgot the same words, and shouted, “Fuck! Does anybody know the fucking words to my own fucking song?!” The audience lapped it up.

Eventually, Spektor hopped off the stage to ask a fan for the words. “Who would write such a song?” she asked; “I always fuck up something new so I can’t ever prepare for it. It’s frustrating.” Thanks to a fan in the front row, she finished the song, hollering “Thank you!!” heavenward after getting through the troublesome passage with the lyrics intact.

Spektor polished off the concert with four (count ‘em) encores, including the radio hit “Fidelity.” For the final song, she asked opener Only Son to join her onstage. The guitarist’s earlier set had been unremarkable, but he redeemed himself by beat-boxing as the only accompaniment to Spektor’s “Hotel Song.” Only Son should consider a slight career shift, as his beat-box prowess far outweighs his ability as a singer-songwriter.

Throughout the show, Spektor was uniquely herself, equal parts classical virtuoso and quirky anti-folk artist. Few musicians today can match her talent and eccentricity. – Linda Leseman

Critic’s Notebook

Personal Bias: I like pianers.

Random Detail: There were three large light bulbs hanging over the piano and a backdrop of twinkling stars that lit up during the final song.

By the Way: Regina’s official site is www.reginaspektor.com. Decide for yourself whether Only Son should put down the guitar by visiting www.myspace.com/only_son

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.