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Bare bones and beautiful

Regina Spektor
Ryman Auditorium
Nashville, TN
Nov. 16, 2009
Regina Spektor Regina Spektor Regina Spektor

Review by Kate Seesholtz
File photos by Andy Argyrakis

Regina Spektor entered the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville Monday evening to a standing ovation. She immediately went to her piano and kicked off the evening with the up tempo song, "The Calculation." By the end of the song, she had the audience clapping along in rhythm. Spektor flawlessly led next into the melodious "Eet," a tune that not only showed off her exceptional piano skills but also her impressive vocal range.

Joined onstage by only a drummer and set of string players, Spektor's show had an intimate feel. Though, her band only played with her for the first half of her set, eventually leaving Spektor alone with just her piano and impressive vocals. She at one point switched to her guitar for a more humorous side to the evening, playing songs about eye color ("Silly Eye-Color Generalizations") and people having sex to her songs ("Bobbin' for Apples"). Her other song choices throughout the night ranged from the quirky ("Folding Chair" included self made dolphin noises) to the more heartfelt, like "Laughing With." It was obvious that Regina Spektor has the uncanny ability to turn the most mundane and random topics into beautiful, soulful pieces of music.

Spektor closed out the evening with a five-song encore, including the iconic "Samson," a song that includes the oft-quoted line, "the history books forgot about us, and the Bible didn't mention us." She also had the audience singing along to her hit "Fidelity" and running down the aisles to dance to a country song she had penned. Spektor remained gracious throughout the more than an hour and a half set, taking time to thank the audience after each song.

Regina Spektor is one of only a handful of artists that sounds just as great live, some would argue better, as she does on her albums. Many female artists need elaborate stage shows, fancy costume changes, and modified vocals to impress audiences. Spektor needed only her soaring vocal talent and humble charm to instantly win over the entire crowd.

Related articles:

Regina Spektor (Lollapalooza 2007 ) - Chicago, IL - Aug. 2007
Regina Spektor (Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival 2007) - Manchester, TN - June 2007

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