The Royal Albert Hall’s grandiose and atmosphere is perhaps one of the best settings to see a gig in London. On July 2nd it was host to opening act Only Son, and – the reason that everyone was there – Regina Spektor.
Only Son, real name Jack Dishel, took to the stage a little late but showed off his versatility. His set included rock, pop and acoustic songs but these were all somewhat spoiled by the fact that he opted to use an iPod to replace live support. His stage presence was an acquired taste, and though I enjoyed songs like ‘Magic’ and ‘Stamp Your Name On It’, (both were in a rock/pop style) he seemed to struggle to really make an impact on the crowd.
This mattered little, for as soon as Regina took to the stage the audience was captivated. Supported by a celestial light show, songs like the upbeat and catchy ‘The Calculation’, were worked into a set which saw her go through her impressive back catalogue. Songs from her newest album What We Saw From the Cheap Seats were also prominent throughout. Some were played with particular gusto, such as the dramatic ‘All the Rowboats’ and the sensitive ‘Firewood’. These went in perfect tandem with classics like ‘Eet’ and ‘Blue Lips’, which were some of the highlights of the evening.
Continually gracious and jokey when she spoke to the audience, after she left the stage playing ‘The Party’, applause echoed around the Royal Albert Hall continuously until she returned to the stage. Her encore began with the incredible ‘Us’, continued with some of her biggest hits such as ‘Fidelity’ and ‘Samson’.
One of the most practiced live performers around, Regina Spektor was totally astounding.