Regina Spektor, Gig Review. Empire Theatre, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * *

A night of music, the sweaty gig in the enthusiastic pit, the concert in the grandest of halls, the lofty ideal and the well worked grunge, they are always more memorable for the occasional slip or cause of ripple in the audience and on stage with the band than for the polished, almost diluted down of humanity’s lack of humour, affair in which far too many serious types offer; just that small moment that makes it different, gives it personality and makes the conversation flow , of that moment when…

Regina Spektor’s date with Liverpool had been keenly anticipated, a musician of absolutes, a piano queen in the mold of Tori Amos but very much her own woman, a much needed link between two ideologies, born in Moscow but now very much entwined in the mind set of the quirky Village, the marriage of the American and the Russian backgrounds, and within this mindset comes genius, a towering figure of illumination and lyrical bounty.

The Empire Theatre in Liverpool has had the honour of hosting many a one night stand of the musical art, it has attracted some big names and sometimes bafflingly away from the Philharmonic Hall in which the sense of spectral and moving would be more highlighted; however the stage, Spartan like, the centralisation of the piano and the background of cello, drums and keyboard was always going to feel like home when Regina Spektor made her way to the front and took control of the ivory and gave freedom to the ebony keys.

A set not broken by a fifteen or so minute break is always to be welcomed, it keeps the flow of the evening constant, the embrace of the audience close at hand and even when the air is punctuated by a good joke from the stalls or the true heroism of a member of the audience reminding the players of an exact key change, it is in those moments that the night becomes bigger, brighter, more enjoyable than you could have ever hoped for.

With songs such as Folding Chair, Tornadoland, Ballad of a Politician, the excellent Bobbing For Apples, Small Bill$, Obsolete and a truly stunning version of The Beatles’ seminal track Whilst My Guitar Gently Weeps all placed into the night’s accepted musical clinch and soft cheeked kiss, Regina Spektor and the band could not be anything else but truly admired for their application, their breathless desire and the hold they maintained on the audience throughout the night.

In an evening of such quality, of lyrical vision and the squeeze of happiness that only someone as bold as Ms. Specktor could supply, the Empire Theatre had a night of true piano passion to present.

Ian D. Hall