Suzanne Vega at the Tivoli

On Tuesday night, Suzanne Vega took the stage of the Tivoli, and instantly wowed the eager audience that awaited her.

Unlike with most concerts, the audience did not have to wait until the very end to hear their favourite songs, because Vega played each of her albums in their original order; a move that made the concert feel all the more familiar to those who had listened to her albums on repeat. Vega started the night working her way through Solitude Standing before taking a break and launching into all of 99.9F. This meant opening the concert with the raw and iconic, Tom’s Diner. The audience very quickly quietened down as they were captivated by her voice filling the theatre. Without any theatrics, or any bright flashing lights, Vega relied purely on her voice to enrapture the audience, and with that she did.

Next, she launched into the infamous Luka, and wowed the crowd, before moving through the rest of her album, making note of the point in which her audience, many years ago, would have turned over the record. She mused that there would be people in the world who had never heard the second side of her record; but the unabiding support and enthusiasm from the crowd made it clear that both sides of their records were well-worn.

Vega prefaced most of her songs with an explanation of their inspiration, which was a fascinating insight into her mind and further into her exceptional story-telling ability. The lyrics of the songs that she wrote in her teenage years blew away the audience, particularly as she explained and then belted out Gyspy, a song about the Summer camp romance she had when she was 18. Many in the audience rightly marvelled at the depth and maturity of the poetic lyrics, despite her young age when she wrote them.

After taking a break, Vega worked her way through 99.9F, stopping only along the way to preface her songs with more insightful anecdotes, including sharing with the audience the time that she met her biological father for the first time.

Just as the night was winding down, Vega donned her prolific top hat and belted Tom’s Diner once again, this time with her band in tow.

Despite it being 30 years since the release of Solitude Standing, and 25 since 99.9F, nothing has changed. Her delivery has not at all swayed, and her loyal audience are just as enamoured as ever. It was clear their expectations were well and truly exceeded over the course of the night.

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