By Punch Playlist Correspondent Kia Scipio
Regina Spektor is a Russian American singer-songwriter and pianist.Â Sheâ€™s currently on tour after the early summer release of her latest albumâ€”“What We Saw from the Cheap Seats”. She recently performed at the Lyric Opera House in Baltimore to what appeared to be a sold out crowd of die-hard Regina Spektor followers. There are probably a lot more people who are actual fans, but donâ€™t realize it. If you watch “Greyâ€™s Anatomy”, youâ€™ve definitely heard her music (her and The Fray for that matter). The best way to describe her music is â€œquirky and charming, yet soulful.â€ Spector definitely has a little something for everyone, which explains why there wasnâ€™t an empty seat in the house.
She opened her show with one of her more recognizable songs “Fidelity”, in which she talks about never really loving anyone truly. She realizes that she might be missing out, but is much more comfortable missing out on having her heart broken. Itâ€™s actually analogous to how she performs. Regina Spektor is a spectacular pianist and singer, when sheâ€™s behind the comfort of her piano. But, there are the occasional songs, when she performs with just a microphone and the band playing in the background. Itâ€™s then that she seems very awkward, uncomfortable and even painfully shy. I found myself wanting to tell her, â€œItâ€™s OK, go back to your piano.â€
Spektor has a total of 13 albums, but interestingly sheâ€™s not on the Billboard 100s, though sheâ€™s makes truly amazing music! While she performed a number of songs from her new album, the crowd really seemed to want and enjoyed older material from her two more recognizable albums, “Far” (2009) and “Begin to Hope” (2006). Hits from both albums include “On the Radio”, “Hotel Song”, “Better”, “The Calculation”, “Blue Lips” and “Genius Next Door” (one of my personal favorites). If you listen to nothing other than the songs Iâ€™ve listed, you will definitely see that this woman has true talentâ€”something definitely lacking by the â€œstudio artistsâ€ that are merely entertainers and not performers.
In my opinion, there were two highlights during her concertâ€”her performance of “Blue Lips” and “How”. During “Blue Lips”, the entire auditorium was showered in deep blue lighting, which highlighted Spektors very homely appearance behind her gorgeous Steinway concert grand piano. The stage was simply yet intricately decorated with books that were hanging open from the rafters. The song is about a lonely man and with the visual effects, you could feel his (and maybe even her) loneliness. Her haunting voice and the emotion that poured from the piano was so touching. The next big moment was Howâ€”a song from her new album. Dare I say that her live performance of the song was 10 times better than the recorded version, though, both speak to anyone who has ever been in love and finds themselves either trying to figure how to move on from a love lost or trying to figure out how to keep it going when times get rough. As far as I was concerned, she could have ended the show with that song alone! Spektor and her piano can speak to the core of oneâ€™s soul.
Regina Spektor is a â€œdark horse.â€ Weâ€™ve all heard her music and maybe even thought, â€œI really like that song.â€ For some reason, however, her talent remains under the radar of the mainstream music culture. But, to know her is to love her and to know her also means you know that sheâ€™s totally fine just where she isâ€”behind her piano.
Punch Playlist Correspondent Kia Scipio believes that “music makes the people come together.” While she’d love to create a soundtrack to go along with her daily activities, Kia is perfectly happy listening to the music created by others, both known and up and coming, and frequently attends concerts and live shows. She is the Manager of Attorney Professional Development at a national law firm in the DC office. She lives in Maryland. For more on Kia’s musings on all things, including music, her blog is HYPERLINK "http://www.thatsjustmytwocents.com" www.thatsjustmytwocents.com and follow her on Twitter @justkia76.