Live at O2 Academy Leeds on Wednesday, 21st July 2010
Regina Spektor continued her European domination this week with an appearance at the Leeds Academy. The performance was an intensely emotional affair with the only words spoken to the crowd from Regina dedicating her set to her recently deceased cellist. Whilst Leeds was spared the obvious distress witnessed at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the loss and grief of the band was both poignant and evident as Cho's seat remained profoundly empty.
The show, however, went on. With an element of Edith Piaf, she performed for an hour and a half without missing a note, taking the audience on a journey through limitless melody, power and emotion. Whilst the band took a break before returning to play the final pieces, her lone rendition of "Apres- Moi" was easily the highlight of the show. The Bronx girl seamlessly switched between head and chest voice whilst dancing effortlessly over the keys of her piano; the crowd looked on in awe. She paid homage to her Russian roots with lyrics taken from the poet Boris Pasternak which she enhanced with her own typically pithy, penetrating and sometimes eccentric additions.
It is rare that one can, with full honesty, say that a live performance sounds better than the diligently produced studio album, but in this case it was most certainly true. One could do much worse than investing their economically recessed cash in her albums and even more so in a ticket to see one of her forthcoming shows.