Review: Vonda Shepard at Sage Gateshead
Review by Suzanne Whelan
October 8th 2022 – Stage two, Sage Gateshead was home for the evening for Vonda Shepard and band, guitarist James Ralston, bassist Jim Hanson and drummer Fritz Lewak.
Over the last few weeks I’ve gotten myself reacquainted with Vonda as it’s been a while since I listened to her music via Ally McBeal (1997-2002). So the greatest hits and newest album ‘Red Light, Green Light’ have been played frequently. In terms of back catalogue I thought I knew Vonda more than I did.
Set one included; ‘I Just Don’t Get It’ leading to ‘Read Your Mind’ then ‘Walk Away Renee’ (a personal favourite) , Shine Your Light, Red Light, Green Light and more. The singing, piano and band were good however, set one left me feeling a little deflated to be honest and here’s why.
On the floor section of Sage 2 the seating really isn’t great more makeshift school dinner hall style seats but to be honest I didn’t mind as I thought during the quicker parts of the show people would be on their feet. I was wrong.
In my opinion it’s the audience job to help create part of the atmosphere and feeling of a concert almost as much as the act itself. I’m sorry to say it but the audience on the most part were lack lustre. Limited swaying or toe tapping was had let alone dancing. Maybe ardent Vonda fans are quite subdued?
Set two included songs; Hooked on a Feeling, I Only Want to Be With You, Tell Him. All really pleasant but will I be returning to another show. No.
2 out of 5
Background of Vonda:
Vonda first shot to fame through her long running appearances, performances and musical accompaniment on the smash hit US TV show Ally McBeal. The theme song Searching My Soul reached the top 10 in the UK and Vonda released a series of Ally inspired albums which went on to sell a staggering 12 million copies worldwide.
Vonda says of her recent UK tours: “I had so much fun performing for my fans in the UK, it been a joy to reconnect with everyone and I can’t wait to come back and see everyone again”