The Sinclair, Cambridge, Mass.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
In the women’s room after the show, a teary and slightly inebriated women told me that she was at the show with her daughter and had sung her “Tom’s Diner” as “sort of a lullaby” and that her daughter was excited to hear Suzanne Vega perform the song. This rather summed up last night’s show—- lots of nostalgia for mostly middle-aged white people. A first for me in my 25-years of music criticism: I spied a gray-haired couple pressed up against the stage during opener Ari Hest’s set [a prolific singer/songwriter from Brooklyn—be sure to catch him] obviously staking their spot for Vega.
Only a bit more than half-capacity on a cold and rainy Wednesday night, Vega immediately connected with the crowd by explaining songs, chit-chatting and performing old favorites like a soft and staccato laced “Marlene on the Wall”, a calypso-y “Caramel,” the languid, lovely “The Queen and the Soldier” and up-tempo dizzier “Don’t Uncork What You Can’t Contain” [She said after that many found the song confusing and “I really like it and I like singing it.”] along with newer songs from her latest album Tales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles such as “Fool’s Complaint,” which she said “sounds really long and complicated but it’s really not, this song is short and we’re just going to sing it.” Other new songs she played included “Crack in the Wall” and “Jacob and the Angel” and the brilliant “I Never Wear White.”
Dressed in a black blazer, black tank, black jeans and long black and white print scarf and accompanied solely by Gerry Leonard on guitar. A simple set-up. Sometimes she also played guitar and sometimes she just sang. Her arrangements and presentation propel her live performance. Despite the annoying call-outs for her to sing “Luka,” Vega maintained her spirits throughout her set. She finished with a slowed down “Left of Center,” a cool version of “Blood Makes Noise,” the new song “I Never Wear White,” and the song that everyone seemed to be waiting for, “Luka.” She then returned for a three song encore. Total playing time: one hour and a half. Suzanne Vega is truly a sweet, talented musician.
purchase at Amazon: Tales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles
U.S. TOUR DATES:
05/01/14 Natick, MA Center for the Arts in Natick
05/02/14 Brooklyn, NY The Bell House
05/04/14 New York City Winery
05/05/14 Philadelphia, PA World Cafe
05/07/14 South Orange, NJ SOPAC
05/08/14 Annapolis Ram’s Head On Stage
05/09/14 Alexandria, VA Birchmere Music Hall
05/10/14 Lumberton, NC Carolina Civic Center Historic Theater
05/11/14 Charlotte, NC Booth Playhouse
05/13/14 Ann Arbor, MI The Ark
05/15/14 Chicago, IL Old Town School of Folk Music
05/16/14 Madison, WI Barrymore Theatre
05/17/14 Minneapolis, MN Cedar Cultural Center
05/19/14 Portland, OR Aladdin Theatre
05/20/14 Seattle, WA The Triple Door
05/22/14 Grass Valley, CA The Center for the Arts
05/23/14 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall
05/24/14 Los Angeles, CA El Rey Theatre
05/25/14 Solana Beach, CA Belly Up Tavern
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