Suzanne Vega celebrates two landmark anniversaries at the Cambridge Corn Exchange
One of America's finest songwriters played two of her classic albums in their entirety to a very receptive crowd.
Released 30 years ago in 1987, Solitude Standing was the New York folk singer’s second album. Her fourth, 99.9F°, came in 1992, meaning that it turns 25 this year.
Coming out on stage in Cambridge on October 1 dressed all in black, Vega asked the audience: “You know what’s going to happen tonight, right?” referring to the show’s billing which stated that the two classic albums would be played right the way through.
She began with the lesser-known version of Tom’s Diner, the first track on Solitude Standing and still a great song after all these years.
In between the songs, Vega recalled writing them, told stories of her youth and came across as a down-to-earth and likeable individual. Along with Tom’s Diner and Luka, the gorgeous Gypsy was a standout moment.
After a short interval, the singer returned to run through 99.9F°, a particular highlight of which was the timeless In Liverpool.
“This is the last song on the album, but not necessarily the last song of the show,” said Vega ahead of Song of Sand, hinting that we might get to hear some hits from her other albums.
The more familiar version of Tom’s Diner, Left of Centre (from the soundtrack to the film Pretty in Pink) and Marlene on the Wall (from her self-titled 1985 debut LP) made up the encore.
Many members of the audience rose to give Vega a standing ovation at the end of the show. She deserved it.