Regina Spektor - The Warfield

Photo Title: reginaaa3 which was originally uploaded by beisenhood

You are my sweetest downfall
I loved you first, I loved you first
Beneath the stars came fallin' on our heads
But they're just old light, they're just old light
Your hair was long when we first met

The Warfield is always a nice place to see a show, and seeing Regina Spektor there was a treat. The diminutive Russian born redhead with a powerful voice started off with a capella number. (Sorry, I'm not too familiar with her song titles). I cribbed a list of her song set from here:

  • Fidelity
  • Better
  • On the Radio
  • Field Below
  • Apres Moi
  • Hotel Song
  • That Time
  • Summer in the City
  • Uh-merica
  • Music Box
  • Baby Jesus
  • Poor Little Rich Boy
  • The Flowers
  • Human of the Year
  • Us
  • Bobbin' for Apples
  • Prisoners
  • Ghost of Corporate Future
  • Real Love (John Lennon)

She was without a band, mostly performing on her piano. She did use a guitar for a couple of songs. On "Poor Little Rich Boy" she played the piano with her left hand while beating a drumstick on a wooden chair placed next to her, and stomping her left foot for emphasis, through the song. I wish I could remember which song that was.

She does have some quirky, funny lyrics (see lyrics for Baby Jesus). Couple this along with her powerful voice, and sometimes unusual phrasing, it makes for a wonderful experience. You can sometimes tell she is not fully comfortable with a crowd, but she does warm up as the show continues. She was comfortable enough to say the Warfield is in a "sketchy part of town". (Really? I guess she didn't travel to other parts of the City.)

Try to see Regina Spektor in a small venue if you can.

Imogen Heap @ The Warfield

farrah and I went to see Imogen Heap at the Warfield this past Sunday, December 3rd.  We hadn't been to a concert in quite sometime.  I think the last concert we saw was Esthero at the Filmore back in July.

We got a late start to the Warfield, not really having a desire to see the only listed opening act who, Kid Beyond.  I had never heard of him, but then again I have never heard of some of the opening acts I had seen at the Warfield before.  I never heard of Cheryl Crow when she opened for Crowded House.  I never heard of Jewel when she opened for Liz Phair.  And I never heard of Tricky when he opened for PJ Harvey.  I'm not saying Kid Beyond is in the same league as these opening acts, but he was very entertaining.

We caught the tail end of Levi Weaver's performance.  He had the crowd going on and made me interested in hearing how his studio work would be.

Kid Beyond in Toronto

Imogen Heap came briefly on stage to introduce Kid Beyond.  The dude beat boxes and so much more.  He did a little Nine Inch Nails, some Portishead, and some of his own stuff.  You can catch some clips, such as this, on YouTube.  All the performers used a machine that Imogen Heap called a parrot.  I'm not sure if that is the correct reference, but basically the performer records a vocal or sound that they layer upon until they have the affect they are trying to achieve. Anyway, it was a very good performance.

Imogen then came out twenty minutes later. She started by walking through the general admission crowd on the floor.  farrah and I were located in very good seats, first row lodge, so we could see her milling about there in the dark, singing the vocals to her first song.  I had never seen Imogen Heap perform, or never seen a video by her, so I was quite surprised to by her stage presence and performance.

She put on a strong performance considering she had a nasty cold she caught from Levi Weaver.  From her stage look and keyboard talent, all I could think of was that she may be the lost love child of Cyndi Lauper and Thomas Dolby. You can see photos of her on Flickr here.  I didn't realize she is the girl in the red coat you see on Flickr's home page from time to time.

She danced around stage with reckless abandon and played her keyboards and other instruments with (mostly) perfect precision. Her parrot failed her on one of her songs, but her cold never slowed her down.  She talks and responds to the crowd in her cute voice.  Very cool interaction.

Hopefully she'll come around again in a couple of years after working on her next album.