There’s a certain numeric logic to Suzanne Vega’s upcoming performance in the Event Gallery at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts: an artist who came of age in the 1980s playing a venue built in the 2000s that honors the 1960s. Vega has her own link to the ‘60s as well, her sound an updated blend of folk, electronic and urban music, all of which serves to make her every bit as relevant today as she’d have been way back when. It’s a complicated formula – though if you’ve heard the mechanized rhythms of Vega’s “Blood Makes Noise,” complicated formulas are also part of the equation.
Long revered for clever, erudite lyrics and a vocal delivery to match, Vega has spent the past couple of years highlighting her deeply personal relationship with her music by rerecording songs from her back catalogue in intimate, stripped-down arrangements. The Close-Up Series, a planned, thematically assembled four-volume set, might hint at what fans heading to Bethel on Sunday, May 13 might be in store for.
The concert, which features special guests Tina Shafer, Lizanne Knott and Anthony DaCosta, is the last on Vega’s calendar before she embarks on a lengthy European tour. She won’t return to the area until early July, when she conducts an exclusive workshop at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck called “Living a Creative Life.”
The Event Gallery at Bethel Woods is an appropriately intimate venue for Vega’s stark, confessional songs, including one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most popular hits about an abused child, “Luka,” and the observational a cappella “Tom’s Diner,” which was later remixed by DNA and turned into a massive dance hit. Vega has always managed to bridge the gap between the hustle and bustle of New York City and the pastoral acoustic folk of Woodstock; she recorded some of her most enduring albums in the latter. Call it a sort of homecoming and get your tickets now.
Suzanne Vega performs in the Event Gallery at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on Sunday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $49.75 in advance, $54.75 the day of the show. For more information, visit www.suzannevega.com and www.bethelwoodscenter.org.