Regina Spektor at Albert Hall, Manchester: Review

Regina Spektor classically trained pianist from America (born Russian) entertains Manchester’s Albert Hall.

By Manchester's Finest | November 21st '16

Regina Spektor classically trained pianist from America (born Russian) entertains Manchester’s Albert Hall. A check of the set times before the gig reveals zero support instead Spektor opting for an early start and a mammoth 24 song set, much to the delight of the sold out Albert Hall. Few artists could execute this show but with a back catalogue of 7 albums it’s no surprise she wants the crowd’s attention for as long as she can. She enters the stage to a mass of screams and takes to her piano un-phased, she has a small band with her tonight consisting of a Cello and Drums.

Her sweet soft voice greets us “Hi, Hi, Hi, Hi, Hi”. She opens the show with bouncy number ‘On the Radio’ and straight into ‘Grand Hotel’ quiet and softly speaking Regina is polar opposite to the persona she adopts during her tracks she leans back from the keys and whispers “Hiiiiiiiiiiii” screams of “I LOVE YOU” echo around the hall at every break in the music. “Thank you Albert Hall this is so beautiful, the sound check sounded like we were in the shower” A few more songs in and Regina takes another break to chat to the crowd, it’s easy to see why she is so loved by her fans. “I feel like I’m talking with a sock in my mouth, I ordered earl grey and put my mouth into a boiling pot, I’m sorry I’ve got a boiling mouth, the boiling mouth show” For all the challenges that Spektor is facing tonight, you wouldn’t tell as she fills the Albert Hall with her unbelievable vocals.

Spektor now living in USA can’t hide from the topic of conversation as she leads to ‘Ballad of a Politician’ she delivers words with the crowd about the presidential election. “We are in a political nightmare, I think that, we should stay positive, all the kind people that have been sweet, supportive, loving the more I’m thinking that it’s more about love, kindness, art, fun we have to work extra hard now.”

A few more songs covered and Spektor as she stands up from her stool to thank each corner and acknowledge the fans sitting on the upper tier behind her. “Sorry I have my back to you guys I should turn around and do a few songs

You guys are cool for an 8 hour show right?” Track No. 8 is Grammy nomination theme song from Netflix Orange Is the New Black ‘You’ve Got Time’ Spektor is joined on stage by an additional band member and the guitar gives a more rock feel to tonight’s show.

A chorus of fans shout requests, some offering the support “Just do what you want”. Impressively, with a set list as vast as this, Spektor looks over to a confused looking sound desk, she takes to her feet and obliges to the fans requests, going off set list for acapella ‘Silly Eye Colour Generalisations’

20 tracks in and Spektor takes to her feet to exit the stage “Manchester I love you, thanks guys you’re beautiful” a short breather and Spektor wastes no time with ‘The Visit’ and ‘Fidelity’ and ‘Hotel Song’ brings the band’s night to an end, they leave Spektor to close the show with fan favourite and heart-melting song ‘Samson’. Not many could hold the crowd’s attention through such a set, but Spektor’s variety of high tempo pop songs mixed with deeper intense piano left her obsessive fans stunned and still craving more after the 2-hour show.

SET LIST
1 On The Radio
2 Grand Hotel
3 Older & Taller
4 Bleeding Heart
5 Tornadoland
6 The Light
7 Small Bill$
8 You’ve Got Time
9 Ballad of a Politician
10 Apres Moi (Solo)
11 Black and White
12 Trapper and the Furrier
13 Sailor Song
14 Blue Lips
15 Obsolete
16 Better
17 (Seller Of Flowers)
18 Silly Eye-Color Generalizations
19 Ne Me Quitte Pas
20 Us

ENCORE:
21 The Visit
22 Fidelity
23 Hotel Song
24 Samson