Welcome to On the Brown Low—a column dedicated to exploring all that the lovely city of Providence has to offer. Join me, Isabela Karibjanian, as I take you on a tour of all the hidden gems I find off College Hill!
One of the things that surprised me most when I came to Brown was the number of bands that find their way to venues downtown. I had anticipated that most groups would go to Boston instead, given its larger population base and the fact that it’s a much bigger city. This week, after two years of just clicking that I was “interested” in attending a concert downtown on Facebook events, I finally got myself off the hill to see Regina Spektor at Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel. Read more after the jump for more about the Providence concert scene, adventures in waiting in line, and more!
As with any event advertised on Facebook, far more people will say they are interested in going than actually end up showing up. So, when I made my way downtown with some friends to see singer-songwriter Regina Spektor, I was shocked when there was a line stretching around the block an hour after the doors had opened. Having never been to Lupo’s before, I had no idea what to expect. When we finally got inside, both levels of the venue were packed.
I remember first hearing Regina Spektor’s music on Pandora in middle school, and after talking to my friends, I’ve found that many others have had similar experiences. After I first found her music, I was instantly hooked. Her music is very vocal- and piano-heavy, with lyrics that often take the form of short stories or character studies. I had always wanted to see her live, but was never sure that I’d get the chance. Fortunately, she decided to come to Providence!
I wasn’t sure what the crowd would be like, as Spektor’s music isn’t exactly mosh-pit material, but so many people around me sang and danced along to every song. She played a good mix of her five albums, and sang many fan favorites. Accompanied only by her piano, a cello, some percussion, and keyboard for most songs, her performances were raw and dynamic.
Spektor’s powerful voice and gorgeous music easily filled the space, and her set flew by quickly. Though she didn’t come on until almost 9 pm, my friends and I didn’t mind. I can easily see myself going back to Lupo’s for other shows—it’s right downtown and only about a twenty-minute walk from campus. The space that it occupies also doubles as the Roxy nightclub, but it definitely felt to me to be better suited for live acts. Going to this concert has definitely motivated me to try to see more live music in Providence, and hopefully I’ll be writing about them here for you!
Is there something in Providence that you want to see covered here? Have any suggestions for my next adventure? Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let me know!