Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Susanna Hoffs Brings Her Underconfident Charm Offensive to City Winery New York

Saw Susanna Hoffs last night at City Winery along with Michael and my pal Christopher. As in the past, Sue came out looking sheepish and sounding unsure of herself, despite her worldwide success and enduring movie-star beauty. This time, she quickly explained that she and her guitarist, Andrew Brassell (b. 1985!), were feeling particularly "naked" and vulnerable because their rhythm section was not able to make the gig thanks to Hurricane Sandy. But as always, once the music started flowing, Sue was fully in her element, delighting the crowd with an eclectic set of solo songs, Bangles hits, covers she has recorded -- and covers she hasn't, which provided some of the night's best moments. When friend (and surprisingly capable musician) Fred Armisen came out to fill in for the missing drummer, Sue relaxed a bit more. (It was hard to tell which was the real Not Ready for Primetime Player.) But her talent was on full display throughout -- as was supporting evidence of why she always preferred being in a band to being a solo artist, where Vicki Peterson or Matthew Sweet -- or even Fred -- can take the lead and she can do what she does best: play music for us. What I remember of the set list is below. The evening's most innovative moment came during "Manic Monday," when she wove Prince's "1999" and the Velvet Underground's "Sunday Morning" (and a hint of "Femme Fatale") into the classic hit (stole the video from the previous night), which came out the year after her guitarist was born!

Sue did just one song of her first two solo albums, and even though she wrote 16 of the their 24 tracks, she still picked a cover (the Lightning Seeds' "All I Want").

When You Walk in the Room (Jackie DeShannon cover)
Different Drum (Stone Poneys)
November Sun
Manic Monday/1999/Sunday Morning/Femme Fatale mashup  (Bangles/Prince/Velvet Underground)
Picture Me
Summer Days
Willin'  (Little Feat song that's been covered by Linda Ronstadt)
All I've Got to Do (Beatles)
Hazy Shade Of Winter (Bangles/Simon and Garfunkel)
All I Want (Lightning Seeds)
Always Enough
Eternal Flame (Bangles)
One Day
In Your Room (Bangles)
Hero Takes a Fall (Bangles)

Under A Cloud/Walk Like An Egyptian (Bangles)
If She Knew What She Wants (Bangles)
To Sir With Love (Lulu)
Never My Love (The Association)

1 comment:

Tom said...

Thanks for the great review Kenneth. She's awesome, a true beauty. I love that she did "Hero takes a fall" -- one of my favorite Bangle tunes ever!