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Photo Copyright © Stephen Farrell

Suzanne Vega live in Manchester Review

A nostalgic trip through four decades of music

American singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega arrives in Manchester halfway through her February and March UK tour. For an artist with a career that spans four decades there is no more a spectacular surrounding than the Bridgewater Hall which, unsurprisingly, is absolutely packed out with fans.

A nostalgic trip through four decades of music, these intimate shows saw Suzanne joined on stage by David Bowie’s guitarist Gerry Leonard for an eighteen-song set which spanned her unforgettable catalogue. Armed with an acoustic guitar, Vega kicked off the set with “Marlene On The Wall” to an atmosphere that, throughout the night on the whole, remained respectful and attentive.

Billed as “An Intimate Evening of Songs and Stories”, the set continued through “Caramel” taken from Vega’s 1996 offering “Nine Objects of Desire” while “In Liverpool” and “Last Train From Mariupol” both lived up to the promise of songs and stories.

With a career of this length, one that contained many favourites, there is always the danger that the setlist will miss out somebody’s favourite but, tonight, it would have been hard to find anyone who had anything negative to say about the career covering selection of songs. Vega herself looked utterly at home on stage and with the one time David Bowie guitarist alongside her, the whole performance had an air of both intimacy and class about it.

Wrapping the night up with a three-song encore which kicked off with a cover of Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” before wrapping up with the brilliant “Rosemary”, Vega signed off. As the fans, of which a high percentage of them would have followed the singer-songwriter throughout her career, filed out of the Bridgewater Hall, they left knowing that, for the last ninety minutes, they have been a part of something quite magical.

Set List

Marlene on the Wall
Small Blue Thing
In Liverpool
The Queen and the Soldier
When Heroes Go Down / Lipstick Vogue
Rock in This Pocket (Song of David)
Last Train from Mariupol
Solitude Standing
Left of Center
I Never Wear White
Some Journey
Tom’s Diner

Walk on the Wild Side
Blood Makes Noise

Photo Copyright © Stephen Farrell