Posted by: patriciamar | April 8, 2017

Regina’s songs & a good soaking

Tonight my list of top concerts may have been reshuffled. Until this moment, the best concerts of my lifetime included Fleetwood Mac (with Stevie, Lindsay and Mick, but no Christine), Tony Bennett at the Mondavi Center, and Sheryl Crow at a county fair in South Dakota. This evening I spent two hours with Regina Spektor at the Greek Theater, on the UC Berkeley campus, and I can tell you that she is just as lovely and wonderful and heartwarming as I thought she would be.

I cried for almost half the concert.


She came on stage–it wasn’t really raining at that point, and she waved, and then I started to cry. She was exactly how I had pictured her, and I had been looking forward to this concert for sooooo loooooong. She is nice and so darling and sweet, and her hair is a little wild, and she said thank you every time someone yelled something from the audience, which was a frequent.

She played “On the Radio,” “Après Moi” and “Older and Taller” and “Blue Lips.” She played old songs and new songs and she even played Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel,” which was a wonderful comparison to her own, “Grand Hotel.” I do love swanky old hotel stories.

The seats at the Greek were pretty full, despite the dire prospects of rain, which proved true even after Regina thanked nature for holding off. Ha.

I cried again when she talked about immigrating to the U.S. as a child. I forgot that she came as a refugee. Of course, she hopes the next generation will welcome a few more children like her. I hope so too.

It started to rain at some point, and I added almost all of my layers, fairly happy that I had gone with the biking rain jacket rather than a light rain jacket.

The rain got worse, but no worries! It fueled the crowd. Regina kept apologizing and we kept cheering. At one point she dumped a bottle of water on her head, out of solidarity.

On the Greek Theater site, they suggest waterproof shoes. I didn’t understand at the time how it could get that bad, but now I understand.

When she played “Bleeding Heart” the rain was dumping down so furiously that I wondered if they were actually collaborating. (She and the rain, that is.) The woman next to me on the lawn stood up and I saw that her entire backside was soaked, ribcage to kneepits. The plastic blanket she was sitting on had been creating a fantastic effect that ensured that all the rainwater streaming down the hill pooled right around her buttocks. Poor thing.

At “Small Bill$,” it was pouring so heavily that I could feel the rain running through the side zippers on my ski pants. Yes, I was wearing ski pants* and the water was streaming off of my rain jacket and back onto my legs as I hugged my knees in a tiny please don’t destroy me Berkeley weather ball on the ground on the lawn in general admission seating. I’m telling you, this concert was amazing.

*as well as jeans, tall socks, a tank top, t-shirt, sweater, sweatshirt, biking rain jacket, three scarves, glittens and a stocking cap.

And the rain kept coming down, and Regina kept mopping off her Steinway and warming her hands on one of those ridiculously weak fans with the heater glowing in the middle.

I think it was also at this point that I realized that my hands were cold too. I took off my glittens and wrung them out.

About a quarter cup of water came out. Really. I decided not to put them back on.

Regina kept apologizing and asking us if we were ok, and we kept cheering, a little maniacally, if you ask me–part cheerful enthusiasm, part laughter, part tears.

Suddenly, at the end of a song, she was basically rushed off the stage. She returned for a second to tell us that for safety reasons, they needed to stop playing for ten minutes.

We were doomed.

People starting flooding out, but I didn’t disagree. It was the obvious choice. She’d played for aaaalmost two hours. I stood still and waited, hoping for one more.

Sure enough! Even though they had covered everything with the plastic sheets, after just a few minutes, she came back out to the mic for one more.

“Samson,” of course. Then she said we were best rain friends.

It will make my top 3 for sure, and I think #2. I might keep Stevie at #1 until I get the chance to see Joni Mitchell or Billy Joel. What an insane concert experience. If I could do it all again tomorrow, I would.
Without question.





(Other songs played included “Sailor Song,” “Silly Eye Color Generalizations,” “Eet,” “The Trapper and the Furrier,” among others) Ones that I was hoping for but didn’t hear (it’s ok) included “Fidelity,” “Us” and “Laughing with.”


Thanks, Regina. I had a lovely evening.

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