Live Review: Regina Spektor; UO/Tilly, Ketchup and Mustard Gas tonight…

Category: Blog — @ 8:34 pm October 6, 2007

Well, Regina Spektor was upstairs at Sokol (sorry OWH, but you got it wrong…again), and it was sold out. Where did all these people come from? Where can one hear Regina Spektor on the radio? In Omaha, the answer is nowhere. I figured she might be played on one of the many women-directed light-rock stations that litter the FM dial, but Teresa, who listens to those stations faithfully, has never heard Regina on any of them. The question came up with a couple of people who were working the show — one said that Spektor had been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, and that her mom was a huge fan. And I’ve seen the video for “Fidelity” a few times on MTV2’s Subterranean, which is the only bit of sanity left on MTV these days. So, CBS Sunday Morning and MTV2 are the reasons behind Regina Spektor’s sell-out of Sokol Auditorium? No…no. I’m sure there’s a better reason…

We strolled in at 9 p.m. after watching our Yankees blow it due to a plague of bugs invading Cleveland, we got a beer and walked to the back of the crowd and just then, the houselights dimmed and out came Spektor carrying a microphone. She opened the show singing an a cappella number, tapping her mic in rhythm — a touching intro. Too bad it got marred by some chick talking in full-voice to her friends, completely ignoring what was going on on stage. The chick, who desperately was trying to look like Britney Spears, just kept right on yacking throughout the whole show. If it were any other rock concert, it wouldn’t have mattered because the noise level would have drowned out her big, gaping cake hole. But this was a Regina Spektor show, which featured only Regina and a grand piano. It was the kind of concert that would have been terrific held in The Orpheum or The Scottish Rite or, best of all, The Holland Center. Not in the cow barn we call Sokol Auditorium stuffed with 1,400-plus eager young fans and one Britney wannabe pacing the back of the room, barking like an obnoxious poodle. When she wasn’t yelling to her friends, she was yelling into a cell phone. The crowd kept turning around, a few yelled “shut up” but this one wasn’t going to stop for anyone. Had I paid $20 for tickets, I would have been pissed. Instead, I moved to the side of the auditorium by the merch area, away from Britney and the masses.

Regina Spektor is an amazing singer/songwriter, there’s no arguing it. She writes flamboyant, theatrical songs that sound like modern-day Russian lullabies — beautiful and charming. Unfortunately, after about 15 minutes of watching her sit behind a piano, it gets rather boring. At one point she got up and played guitar, but for the most part, it was pretty dull. I can imagine her playing larger rooms, arenas where big screens are on either side of the stage, showing live video of the performance — that would certainly be more interesting, but not much, not really.

* * *

So what’s going on tonight? Well, there’s that free concert down at Slowdown (Tilly and the Wall, Baby Walrus, and Bear Country) starting at 9. I have a feeling there could be a long line of kids fashionably dressed in Urban Outfitter gear waiting to get into that gig.

Instead, I’ll likely be at O’Leaver’s for Ketchup & Mustard Gas, Theodore and Bad Folk. According to a post on Slam Omaha, K&MG is “Andy of Cap Gun Coup, Dustin of Paria and Mark of Dance Me Pregnant.” Sounds good to me. $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also tonight, down at The Saddle Creek Bar, Denver indie band Light Travels Faster with Birds and Batteries. $5, 9 p.m.

And don’t forget Lincoln Calling.

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