i think a lot of people around my age have some sort of history with suzanne vega, either with the “tom’s diner” era in the late eighties or with the “blood makes noise” time in the early nineties. suzanne had a good part in defining the early 90’s college rock sound that was all the rage. i certainly listened to her quite a bit during that time. i haven’t followed her too closely over the last fifteen years, but i did always notice when she had a new album out and always considered going to see here when she came around. when a friend suggested going to see her i said yes. i’ve never seen her live and i was curious as to what she would be like after so long. i considered getting some of her recent albums, but decided to go in ignorant.
i’m glad that we ignored the advice of our friend and got there before eight, suzanne and her band came on promptly at eight for the first of two sets. she is touring for close up vol. !, love songs, it’s a collection of acoustic re-recordings of her older songs, so the set was filled with her form of love songs. i was happy to hear four or five songs i knew, including one from the (recently deceased) sparklehorse/danger mouse album dark night of the soul that i didn’t realize she sang. she was great live. no offense to her, she is a smart and strong songwriter, but there’s not much that’s super special about her music. suzanne does have “it” though, she seems personable, approachable and funny, when she performed we were sucked in. the group i was with all agreed that her guitarist and bassist were distracting, and they seemed too safe for what they were doing. they were a little to wankery for us. the best parts were the songs involving with string quartet, whom i think were from the dark night of the soulseattle rock orchestra, they took the show to another place. very impressed suzanne, very impressed.