Suzanne Vega 88 248.
(photo credit: Bert Sanchez, courtesy)
Suzanne Vega, the woman in black, played an even-key concert to two sold-out crowds of enthusiastic fans that turned out for back-to-back concerts in Tel Aviv on Sunday. In the first part of her double-header, Vega transitioned from solo acoustic guitar to acoustic-plus-bass to acoustic-plus-bass-plus-electric guitar. Brass and drums not in the mix, she would later ditch her guitar to focus on presenting her timeless, breathy voice, leaving the accompaniment to her two aforementioned cohorts.
In between hits like "Left of Center," "Tom's Diner," "Blood Makes Noise" and "Caramel" and newer songs like "Tombstone," "Pornographer's Dream" and "The Man Who Played God," Vega offered some lighthearted, and at times sarcastic, banter with the audience.
Though the acoustics at the Mann Auditorium are embarrassingly sub-par, at least the "noise" in "Blood Makes Noise" succeeded in taking center stage - and nobody seemed to mind. Fans were more than happy to sing along on "Luka" and to clap - offbeat - to whatever they could.
During a climatic "Tom's Diner," Vega humorously leaned over to check herself out on the large screen set up next to the stage. She capped the song by ceremoniously donning her iconic hat.
The singer was given two standing ovations, bringing about a two-song encore ("You want more?" she asked, answering her own question with "Okay"), followed by a one-song encore requested by an audience member.
Vega, who brought with her that same youthful voice for which she is known, played it cool, even in the face of a microphone that would not dislodge from its stand. Upon her triumph over the amplification device, she rightfully earned a round of applause from her enamored audience.
After all, Vega is known for her intuitive and amusing observations on everyday occurrences.