I have something I’d like to admit. I’ve never seen Vampire Weekend live before. For some reason their shows have passed me by many times in New York City, and yet I never had the urge to attend one. Then came Contra which I still cannot stop listening to. Getting a ticket to Vampire Weekend in New York is like cramming six people into a standard cab. It’s just really hard to do and not likely it’s going to happen. Somehow with one ticket to see the band play the United Palace Theater, in the Bronx no less, my journey to Vampire Weekend was on it’s way.
The United Palace Theater is really decieving from the outside. Used as a church on the weekend, the place looks pretty dark and scary from the outside. The moment you walk in the door though, it’s one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever seen. The walls are gold and ornate with carvings and statues directly on it. The red carpet makes you feel nearly like royalty. Even the seats were comfy!
Titus Andronicus took the stage at promptly 8pm. Sadly this set was overtaken by people trying to find their seats and standing in the way of the audience. This made it hard to enjoy the band at all, but through what y0u could hear was amazing. Playing new tracks of the yet to be released album The Monitor, the band poured their heart out to anyone who was listening.
It was obvious though that everyone was there for the main attraction and it showed. Eager fans in a mixed aged crowd (we’re talking 5 to 65 here), couldn’t wait for Vampire Weekend to hit the stage. Out rolls the giant banner with the Contracover on it as the band walks out at around 9:15. Immediately launching into the set, the audience was up on their feet. This was really nice to see as everyone usually sits when seats are available. You couldn’t help but get up and dance to the music. Tonight was truly a special night as singer Ezra Koenig stated repeatedly that it was “their longest show ever.” And I can see that as it clocked in at about an hour and a half.
Basically, no song was left off the setlist and this very intimate show. There were plenty of song highlights that night including new Contra favorites such as “Horchata,” “Cousins,” “Diplomat’s Son,” and “Giving Up the Gun,” and “White Sky.” The guest string section came out for such songs as “Run,” which was one of the highlights of the night. You could see that the band was amazed they were here at this moment in time, with their career exploding even more before their eyes. It nearly gave me chills that I was experiencing something so great. Vampire Weekend also managed to play most of their debut album from the foot stomping “A-Punk” to “Oxford Comma,” and fans were delighted to hear some of the old tracks that made them fall in love a mere two years ago. Closing out the night was “Ottoman” from Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist which was one of my favorites of the night, and “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa.” This was the perfect ending to a stellar night, that almost felt like a dream. It was almost too good to be true. Most of their upcoming tour is sold out, and trust me, you’ll get your money’s worth.
WATCH OUR VIDEO FOR “HORCHATA”
SEE MORE VAMPIRE WEEKEND PICTURES AFTER THE JUMP