Remember that time

I have seen dozens of concerts in my life. In fact, I have seen nearly all of my favourite bands in concert. There was the Something Corporate concert, when Jes’ dad drove us to Montreal and I got to touch Andrew and I shouted for Konstantine and the crowd got quiet for nine and a half minutes. There was the Bright Eyes concert, hundreds of emo kids staring at the stage with a hunger in their eyes as if hoping somehow they’d find meaning. There was Death Cab for Cutie, where we stood in the mosh pit and watched people cry. Green Day, the day I almost died when I got moshed away. Good Charlotte on a rainy day, when we loved Good Charlotte because we were young and angry and we had signs that said I love you, Benji. There was Sarah Slean and a piano, a free show and only a few dozen other people there and I sat in the front row by myself and smiled like an idiot. Amy Millan at the Roisin Dubh in Galway, where she asked me to sign Calendar Girl with her but I was too drunk and I’ll regret it forever. All American Rejects, Jimmy Eat World, Our Lady Peace, Barenaked Ladies, Emily Haines, Tegan and Sara, Brand New. Somehow, it has worked out that I got to see my most important bands at the times I loved them most.

You went into the kitchen cupboard
Got yourself another hour
And you gave half of it to me

With those words, the Regina Spektor concert that I’d taken the train to Manchester to see started. A girl, a piano, a cello, a violin and a drummer. And about 3000 people of all types, all clearly in love with Regina, maybe even more than myself.

It was amazing to hear her live. She was perfect, exactly like the recordings. She played some of my favourite songs, and my absolute favourite song. But she didn’t talk. Not except to say “Thank you. Thanks very much.” I think at one point she said “Hello, Manchester.”

I’m not used to this. I wasn’t expecting this. Regina, shy? The girl who sings Mary Ann and Remember That Time? Her songs are so personal, so raw and so weird sometimes, I thought she would be the same playful, outgoing person on stage.

After the concert we went outside to be fan girls and wait by her tour bus. The girls standing there said she’d already come out and gone into her bus. She didn’t stop to talk to them because she was cold, she said. It was cold. I know, I had to wait an hour and a half to get in before the show. And then I waited another hour outside that bus to get an autograph.

The British girl said she’d seen the last two shows and was going to tomorrow’s as well. Chandra and I huddled closer, we could no longer feel our toes. The crowds slowly died out, caught the bus or a taxi and went home. Only about twenty of us stuck it out. I thought for sure she’d come out and say hi when there were only a few of us.

After over an hour, we watched the tour bus drive away, and I never got my autograph.

I was cold and disappointed. I don’t know if I’ll ever get the chance to see a Regina concert again. Her music means so much to me, it would have been amazing if she’d bothered even just to come out and wave. Tell us that she was too cold, but thanks for coming. Thanks for paying for her warm tour bus while we freeze our asses off outside.

Don’t get me wrong, the concert was amazing. Her music is beautiful. But there’s more to a performance than singing well or playing a piano. There’s an aspect of connecting with your fans. It’s the reason they spend so much money to see you. It’s the reason you have a job at all.

I hope she was just having a bad day, because I definitely lost a little bit of my love for Regina in Manchester last week.

3 Comments

  • By Faebala, December 8, 2009 @ 4:39 am

    Aww, that’s really sad. :( That’s such a disappointing feeling. I’m hoping too that she was just having a bad day, or something. No wonder I didn’t hear much about this show after you went! Sad. I sort of expected Emilie to be like that, but she was incredibly outgoing and friendly and hugging and kissing everyone like she’d known them for years. It was extremely personable.

    Wish Regina would’ve been the same for you. *hugs*

  • By The Chris, December 9, 2009 @ 5:26 am

    I have the unique position of exisiting without a soul (or so people claim when I say that I don’t really care about music at all.) When I go to a concert I really only judge it on the ‘concert’ aspect. For someone who isn’t into music, I go to alot of concerts. My I suggest The Foo Fighters, surprisingly amazing live, and the best show ever is still Chris De Burge, but you might want to wait until your 40, since that is how old everyone eles in the audience was. Anyway, sorry to hear you were disapointed. This is the person who sings that God song I like right? I think she was on SNL recently. Hope the next concert is better!!

  • By Sebastian, December 10, 2009 @ 6:51 pm

    Ah… the enigma and dilemma of our idols!

    Better to come down to earth, to condescend, and talk to our fans, or to remain aloof and magical?

    Modern society (i.e. Twitter, blogs, social networking) would have us believe that stars are a lot more human than they really are.

    Well, I am sure there are some really-personable stars out there. But… I don’t think humble pie and condescension a star makes.

    At least the show was awesome :)

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