We were surprised to hear on 93.9 The River that Suzanne Vega was coming to our humble little town to do a concert. Yes, Suzanne Vega, in little old Brattleboro! And not just in Brattleboro, but right down the street from us, within walking distance! We couldn’t pass that up. She had been touring the US to promote her new album “Beauty and Crime”, which has surfaced after a several-year hiatus to raise her daughter.
Seeing her live at the Latchis theater was like seeing time frozen. She looked and sounded just like she did in her old “Tom’s Diner” days. Quite appropriately, she began her set with the album version of “Tom’s Diner” and, quite adorably, her band crew came on stage to “act out” the song, like by bringing in coffee to a cafe table and reading the paper.
Suzanne played a lot of songs from her new album–which was very good! I am especially a fan of “Frank and Ava” about Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner, and “New York is a Woman”. Her lyrics and her sound is just as charming as it was in the days of her debut album. She sang a few old favorites including “Marlene on the Wall”, and “Left of Center”.
Suzanne was very engaging throughout the show, telling cute little stories in between sets and commenting on how she liked Brattleboro. She even read aloud a fan letter from a fan who requested she play a particular song in Brattleboro that night, and then she played the song.
The room fell to a hush when she sang a mesmerizing “Luka”, and then blasted into the funky, radio version of “Tom’s Diner” that we all know and love from Benny and Joon.
She came back for a 2-song encore from audience requests and then danced off stage. What a nice show, and the best part was that we only had to walk home after! So we even got to grab a beer at the Flat Street Brewery. And we found out that a neighbor of ours whom we had been friends with moved back to town!
I hope we start to see more great artists like her performing in a place like Brattleboro. Hooray, Suzanne!
Oh, I almost forgot, opening for her was Philip Julian. He was pretty neat, he sang a funny song he called “God the Third” about if Jesus had a son, and the guy was a dissapointment. (“So he became the president of the United States” har har”).