Suzanne Vega, Eclectic Singer-Songwriter, Performs
While I cannot say I closely followed her career, I have enjoyed Suzanne Vega for many years.
I decided to see Suzanne who is touring in support of her recent release, ‘Tales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles’, for my first foray to The Center for the Arts in Natick, a small venue in a former firehouse. Suzanne opened her set with ‘Marlene on the Wall’ which, while not her best-known song, is arguably my favorite. She sings this song while wearing a top hat, which the subject of the song, Marlene Dietrich, was also known to sport.
From there, after removing the top hat, she launched into songs from throughout her nearly thirty-year career. As expected, she sang a number of songs from the new album, with which I was not familiar.
Some of the new songs were ‘I Never Wear White’ (hence her being clad in black) and ‘Don’t Uncork What You Can’t Contain’. The latter brought Pandora’s Box to mind. I thoroughly enjoyed her new material.
Suzanne’s voice is at times deep but always sultry; I could listen to her sing for hours. Watching her, especially when she is not playing the guitar, is fascinating; the way she moves her hands to the songs seems to be done almost subconsciously.
She is touring with her long-time collaborator, Gerry Leonard, a Dublin-born guitarist who made his name with David Bowie. He is terrific and a master of his effects pedals; I would enjoy seeing him on his own.
They performed all the songs I expected to hear – ‘Luka’, ‘Tom’s Diner’, and ‘Left of Center’.
Opening for Suzanne on this tour is Ari Hest, who I have had the privilege of seeing perform in headlining shows.
For those of you who think Ari is a newcomer, he is about to release his eighth (I believe) studio album. He has a fabulous deep voice that suits the style of his songs.
He announced that he would perform songs from a variety of albums, with most of them coming from the upcoming album, ‘Shouts and Whispers’, and the previous album, ‘The Fire Plays’.
I particularly loved the title song from the previous album. I only wish he had played longer.
My only complaint of the evening was that I had to stand in order to see anything during Suzanne’s set; there was a very tall-sitting woman in front of me who completely blocked the microphone stand. I could see Ari because he is quite tall, but not Suzanne. Other than that, I liked the venue enough that I will return.
Suzanne and Ari are each worth seeing, together or on their own.
Posted on May 3, 2014, in concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged Ari Hest, boston, concert review, Gerry Leonard, Luka, Marlene on the Wall, music, Suzanne Vega, TCAN, The Center for the Arts in Natick, Tom's Diner. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.