Regina Spektor's second live album, Live on Soundstage was recorded for the PBS music series in a 400-seat studio at WTTW in Chicago in July 2016. The performance premiered on PBS stations that October, and in between, September saw the release of her seventh studio LP, Remember Us to Life. The live set relies heavily on that album and includes almost its entire track list. Having been her first record to feature a full orchestra on select songs, she has a piano and a 12-piece band/chamber orchestra at her disposal for the show. Standout moments include the orchestral hip-hop tune "Small Bill$," which is even more fun live, the dramatic "Seller of Flowers," and closer "Samson," the nimble ballad from 2002's Songs, which she (charmingly) has to restart here. The concert also includes the crowd-pleaser "You've Got the Time," her theme to the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, and "New Year," which was a bonus track on an expanded edition of Remember Us to Life. With all of the newer material, fans of 2010's Live in London won't find too much overlap. Five fan favorites that appeared on that album show up among the 18 songs, including her 2007 hit "Fidelity" and show opener "On the Radio." Since the London performance captured her on tour backed by a drummer and string quartet (cellist Yoed Nir appears on both records), although there's a reinforced lineup here, the arrangements aren't drastically different. Though, the strings do come in louder and clearer in the Soundstage space. Actually, it's a pretty ideal setting for Spektor's theatrical intimacy, the acoustic palette, and an enthusiastic audience.
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AllMusic Review by Marcy Donelson