Regina Spektor / K Ishibashi Sound Academy, Toronto, ON September 16

Regina Spektor / K Ishibashi Sound Academy, Toronto, ON September 16
Seeing the lone violinist at the front of the stage gave a good clue that Little Joy would not be opening for Regina Spektor. Flight delays had kept the Strokes offshoot away from Toronto and afforded K Ishibashi, from Jupiter One, a much-appreciated chance to play to a captive audience. With sparse vocals and instrumentation, but strong songs, the last-minute stand-in was very much in tune with Spektor's vibe.This is probably because Ishibashi is part of Spektor's backing band, and took one of the three seats alongside the Soviet-born singer as she finally appeared on stage.

Perching herself in front of her baby grand, Spektor began to play, and the clarity of her voice on the high notes of her first song "The Calculation" instantly sent a palpable shiver down the collective spine of everyone in attendance. The sing-back factor of the song was enthusiastically exploited by the audience, leading the singer to encourage the audience to swap numbers and team up in the future.

Sweeping through an impressive vocal range as if it's as easy as speaking, Regina paused between crowd-pleasers such as "Ode to Divorce" and "On the Radio" only to respond to the cries of her fans. The diversity of the show was cemented as she moved away from the piano and picked up her baby-blue guitar for the touching and hilarious "Bobbing for Apples."

Not satisfied that she had showcased her multi-instrumentalism enough, Spektor even played a chair (you read that right) at the same time as a piano before finishing the gig with an encore containing both "Samson" and the excellent "Fidelity," which finally seemed to satiate the hungry crowd.

The show was all about effortlessly spinning fragile tales of real life and daily dramas experienced by all but never given such a magical gloss as when told by Regina Spektor.