Spektor entered the public consciousness with her 2004 release Soviet Kitsch , which delivered her most popular song “Us” about two famous lovers who have a statue erected in their honor. “Now tourists come and stare at us/blow bubbles with their gum/take photographs of fun/have fun.” Simply a girl and her piano, “Us” – and, indeed most of Spektor's songs – are the concerting of her ululating (her erratically moody voice seems to travel up and down mountains in its range) and her fingers that dance on the piano like a secretary's on a new Dell Inspiron.
Not that she needs to rely on ululating fingers. Spektor began the evening with an a cappella version of “Eight Miles High” peppered by her pinky not so much as tapping, but kissing the microphone. Utilizing the piano and its elements, for “Poor Little Rich Boy,” Regina took a pair of drumsticks and rocked out on … a piano bench?
In person, the anti-folk Russian princess brings this pounding intensity to her music often times lost when sprinkling through speakers. It's the softness of her voice, however, that some fans find the most satisfying and the ardor that infiltrated its way into her live version of the songs left a few fans disappointed
But, like those dolls made famous by her native country, Spektor can be opened to find another version of herself, whereupon that version can be opened as well. The first incarnation may be the frilly (in melody only) “Ghost of Corporate Future,” the next “Mary Ann” with the refrain “Mary Ann's a bitch!”Despite any misgivings about the live performance, the final Russian doll, as always, reveals a solid inner core that can entice the entire El Rey to join in for “Mary Ann's a bitch!” “Us” and the fan and critic favorite “Fidelity” from her latest release, Begin to Hope . For laymen fans, it was a good show; for Spektators, as one said leaving the theater after her nearly 20-song set, “She's ruined me for all other concerts.”