tuesday night i saw regina spektor in the hammerstein ballroom. i had thought of going when i first discovered she was playing, but it was my friend kaitlyn’s fervor that decided me. when she heard that regina was coming to nyc, she nearly collapsed into a fit of applause and cheering and jumping. so we went, negotiating cut rate prices on the street with a melancholy man who had hoped to go with his girlfriend before she broke up with him. we went, and stood in the audience, craning for a view of the stage, everybody swaying from side to side as they sought to gaze through the thicket of heads that swayed in turn before them.

and then she came on stage, and the place exploded into cheering and applause and jumping like a million kaitlyns, and she smiled and waved and began to sing acapella into the microphone, tapping it with one finger to give herself a single beat to go by. and it was brilliant, and it got only better when she sat down at the piano. there was such a dichotomy between her songs and her personality between them: her music and lyrics and voice are powerful, playful, rich and husky, adult and brave, revealing an intelligent woman, thoughtful and sensual, curious and imaginative; And then between songs she’d almost revert to this delighted, friendly child, who could do little more than beam and whisper her thank you’s into the microphone, smiling so that she could barely stop herself from giggling with happiness, seeming for all the world like a six year old at a party filled only with her best friends.

and people loved her, and i was taken under her spell, and the whole place rocked and danced and sang along with her. during her song ‘sampson’ i heard a hundred voices whispering the words along with her, the ballroom filled with a spiderweb susurrus as the crowd breathed the lyrics.

when the show was over, and we were streaming out, i heard one girl declare to her friend that if she could, she’s pay everything she had to have regina be her best friend. seconds later, kaitlyn wondered wistfully what it might be like to have her as a best friend too, and i just laughed and told her i was thinking the same thing.

here are some videos for you guys to check out: