Regina Spektor charms Auckland
It all started so well for Regina Spektor last night, but it seems even an artist as proficient as the Russian-New Yorker needs to see what she's doing to get the job done.
The Auckland Town Hall was packed with eager fans and you know they are keen when the slow clap starts to get the star on stage. Her first couple of songs went down a treat and by her own admission, she was feeling "sweet as".
That was until she couldn't see her piano any more. Three songs in and the lighting that had, apparently, been spot on during sound check was suddenly spot off and too dark for Spektor to see the keys on her instrument.
While the audience willed her to carry on with her set, the curly-haired singer was forced from the stage, after a painfully awkward few minutes of her whispering apologies to the faithful, and pleading suggestions to the tech team.
"This makes me sad," she murmured.
Luckily, we Kiwis work fast and Spektor returned to the stage to pick up where she left off just moments later.
The ominous lyrics of Small Town Moon welcomed her back - "I must have left a thousand times" - but they proved nothing more than words, as the haunting vocalist powered through songs from her six albums.
While she was joined by a drummer, keyboardist and cello player, it was when everything was stripped back that Spektor shone.
Her voice soared through the room with only a cello for company on the mesmerising Ode to Divorce, and the bluesy soul of How proved just how good this woman is.
She even transported the giddy crowd to her homeland in the beautiful Russian song, The Prayer.
Spektor has a real Kiwi connection these days - her track The Call was used in local director Andrew Adamson's Hollywood blockbuster The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. And last night - with a charming horse story introduction and Adamson in the crowd - Spektor whipped it out, swept away all the darkness that had overshadowed the evening.
WHEN: December 3
WHERE: Auckland Town Hall