Concert Review: Suzanne Vega at the Ohio Theatre

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Lookin for Luka
  • Lookin' for Luka

As you've probably heard, the music business is in total disarray these days. So it's completely understandable that singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega, who has recently gone "off the grid" by setting up her own record label, wasn't quite able to pack the house for her concert at the Ohio Theatre last night.

What matters most is that she put on an impressively diverse performance for the passionate and appreciative fans who did make the trip.

Backed by the remarkably flexible and drummer-less duo of Gerry Leonard on guitar and Mike Visceglia on bass, Vega took the crowd on a well-paced tour of her extensive catalog.

She kicked off with a fairly straight-ahead reading of her debut album's "Marlene on the Wall," then skillfully demonstrated how much range she could get out of this unconventional lineup with fully engrossing versions of songs like the bossa-nova-tinged "Caramel."

Prior to an intermission, Vega offered to take suggestions from fans, but warned that she was pretty happy with what she'd had planned for the second half of the show.

Turns out she mostly stuck to her guns, as the concert gained momentum and finished strong with dramatic, forceful readings of "Blood Makes Noise," "Luka," and of course, "Tom's Diner," which featured a particularly clever, muted, and looped guitar line that replaced the hip-hop beat we all know so well. —Matthew Wilkening

Did you go to the show? Let us know what you thought of it in the comments.

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