Suzanne Vega

SXSW Music 2010

Live Shots
Photo by Todd V. Wolfson

Suzanne Vega

St. David's Historic Sanctuary, Wednesday, March 17

The hour was late, but given a gorgeous venue and the ability to draw from a substantial songbook, Suzanne Vega was in high spirits. Appearing with a hat and lace veil combination that didn't last long, one of New York's most exalted singer-songwriters, acoustic guitar in hand, launched into the haunting "Marlene on the Wall" backed by an electric guitar and bass duo. Lamentably, the electric instruments overwhelmed Vega's husky vocals at times, especially on the odd groove "Tombstone." Vega took chances with her material, performing "Left of Center" backed by only a slinky bass line that veered into distortion. She spotlighted the recently released Close-Up: Vol. 1, Love Songs, new acoustic recordings of some best-loved tunes, with "Small Blue Thing" and "Caramel" and in a somber moment dedicated "The Man Who Played God" to the recently deceased Mark Linkous (Sparklehorse). A song they wrote together, it possessed a distinctive pop feel that separated it from her other work. Finishing with the expected hits, "Luka," still a disturbing vision of child abuse, and the dance-along "Tom's Diner," Vega brought the church crowd cheerfully to its feet.

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Sign up for our South-by-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters/ for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest Tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

READ MORE
More Suzanne Vega
Asymptopia
Asymptopia
Music and technology have a hybrid moment

March 5, 2010

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Christina Cavazos
Cold (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, March 31, 2017

Texas Platters
My Education
Schiphol (Record Review)

Libby Webster, March 31, 2017

More by Jim Caligiuri
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017

SXSW Panel: Do Music Journalists Matter Anymore?
SXSW Panel: Do Music Journalists Matter Anymore?
Not even journalists were interested in finding out

March 17, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Suzanne Vega

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)