Suzanne Vega – Union Chapel

Why this gig?

For all the same reasons that I’ve mentioned before. Plus this tour is to celebrate the 30th anniversary of her first album.

Support

Ben Montague – not one of the best support acts I’ve seen at a Suzanne Vega show. Distinctly average, in fact.

Headline

I think this is the fourth time I’ve seen Suzanne Vega in the last few years, and the format doesn’t change much. You either get a full band show or just Suzanne with Gerry Leonard on electric guitar. This is one of the latter shows.

The show opens with the slightly obscure “Fat Man and Dancing Girl”, but that’s the least well-known song in the whole set. Vega’s first album (sensibly entitled Suzanne Vega) is was released in 1985, which means that it’s thirty years old and that’s a good excuse to play more than the usual number of songs from it. Add a few songs from the next two or three albums and a larger number from last year’s impressive Tales From The Realm Of The Queen Of Pentacles and you have a set-list that is going to satisfy pretty much everyone.

Vega and Leonard have been playing together for some time now and it shows. They are obviously completely in touch with each other and the performances are impressive. This is what it looks like when two consummate professionals work together.

Their professionalism is particularly evident in the encore when Vega asks the audience what they want to hear. Several suggestions are made and most of them get played over the course of two three-song encores.

It might be a little unfashionable to listen to Suzanne Vega these days. But as long as she continues to play nights of this quality, I’ll be there to watch her.

The set-list is on Setlist.fm.

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