Advertise - Print Edition

Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Regina Spektor comes to campus

Published: October 19, 2007
Section: Arts, Etc.

There were many things that Brandeis students could have done this Saturday night. There was the Hispanic Heritage Month's Main Event and the famous Pachanga dance was happening, with all the freshmen abuzz about heading over to Levin.

Perhaps the most attended event, however, was the Regina Spektor concert, which took place in the Shapiro Gym down at the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center. The arena was set up and it was standing room only for the concert, as hundreds of people arrived around eight oclock to hear the opening act.

The opening act, “Only Son” or Jack Dishel, Spektor's presumed boyfriend, opened the show with an acoustic guitar.

Dishel's voice was pretty good, but there is something not kosher to me about having a singer come to a concert and play his guitar alongside tracks on his iPod instead of a live band. I felt that I was cheated out of the live music experience and so the act was invariably less entertaining.

He also talked to the crowd and tried to bring out a laugh or two between songs. This failed miserably. Why do singers feel the need to communicate to their audiences between songs? They should just stick to the music that they are relatively good at and the onlookers would be much happier. After over a half hour of singing, the opener left the stage as the gym was filling up with more people.

The next half-hour to an hour really made me mad. The lights were dimly lit and music was playing from the speakers, but no one was on stage. As the crowd mussed about and people filed in and out, there was no entertainment to be had. I can understand the wait if there was a big change-up in the act. I can understand that some time might be necessary to make sure that everything is okay for the main performer to go on. But the time we waited was unbearable, and I guess it is only appropriate to vent my frustration in this review.

Then, to a screaming crowd of community members and others, Regina Spektor finally took the stage. I have never heard her music before nor seen the performer in the media. I was a little surprised therefore to know that she mainly played the piano and had a very unique sound. I, fortunately, am quite gifted in the vertical department. Never before has my height given me such an advantage in life than at the Spektor concert as I used this to see the genuine passion she had.

I do have to make some negative comments about the performance though. Like any other concert, people were talking and otherwise making noise. Regina didnt like this much and actually stopped her song at one point to ask that the crowd be quieter. This was absolutely outrageous. It was a Saturday night at a university with hundreds of people attending a concert. How could she possibly expect to have quiet? Anyway, I just thought that this proposition was absurd and thought that it was not the atmosphere that she should have been trying to generate.

The singing was generally good. Spektor was able to do a number of things with her voice, from singing a cappella, to making interesting sounds effects. Her lyrics were pretty cool as she did a lot of stream of consciousness and other types of poetry with her songs.

Spektor is talented beyond just the vocal arena. She was able to play the piano, while playing a drum and singing, which is an amazing feat for any musician. She also transferred to a guitar at one point, illustrating her prowess on different instruments. All around, the performance itself wasnt half bad. Regina Spektor has a great musical talent and it was able to present itself in many forms at this Saturday nights concert.

After messing up the beginning of a John Lennon song a couple of times, Regina gave her bows and got off the stage. All in all, the event wasnt so bad! This was my first Student Events concert and I usually dont like being crowded in with a whole bunch of people I dont know. Still, it was a pretty good affair, and I am eagerly looking forward to the next concert in the Spring.