This afternoon it was just announced that indie’s wiz kids, Vampire Weekend, are slated to play a show at the famed Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The band will take to the stage at this very special performance on September 15th. The guys have been gaining much acclaim with their newest release Contra and are getting bigger by the second. If you missed Vampire Weekend during their three nights of shows last month, be sure to snag your tickets this time around.
The presale for Amercian Express cardholders starts tomorrow, Wednesday, at noon. General sale for the show starts Friday at noon. The tickets run at $39.50, but for anyone who has ever seen Vampire Weekend live knows you’ll get every penny’s worth.
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
Gone are the days when MTV airs their Unplugged performances on TV. Of course we’re in an indie rock renaissance and as all of our favorites hit the stage the only way we can see them is over at MTV’s website. The most exciting Unplugged of, well maybe ever, is the one that the hottest band around right now, Vampire Weekend just filmed. The band took the stage to perform six songs, new and old with an orchestra and a very intimiate crowd. This is every Vampire Weekend’s fans dream, and hey, even if you’re not into the band, it’s time to start. How they’re able to pull off their songs from “Cousins” to “A-Punk” acoustically, so beautiful, is truly an amazing experience. This gives us a taste of what the band is going to provide on tour this time around, and it looks good to us. Move over Grizzly Bear. Someone is stealing your thunder this year.
Watch the Unplugged video for “A-Punk” below
Watch the entire Unplugged performance HERE
It’s only a few days until Vampire Weekend releases their second record Contra (XL) and it’s safe to say that people are pretty excited. Alright, extremely excited. The quartet is bound to make an even bigger splash the second time around especially since they managed to out due themselves, which a lot of people thought would never happen. This edition of Secondhand Sunday is Vampire Weekend’s “A Punk.” Yes kids, thats where it all started. Two more days until Contra!
I’m not going to lie. I never ever thought they’d be able to do it. It seemed nearly impossible. It would be too hard. Oh what am I mumbling about you ask? Vampire Weekend. That’s right, the band is back to prove me wrong that they’d never truly survive the dreaded ’sophomore’ slump. It’s nearly as if Ezra Koenig and the boys tried to prove me wrong on purpose. I’ve been defeated.
Vampire Weekend is set to release their second record, Contra (XL), next week, January 12, and has everyone at the edge of their seats. Starting off is the first single “Horchata” that could have easily been on their debut record, as it picks off where the last ended off. Though at the second track “White Sky,” we really start to see some progression in the band’s sound. Koenig’s voice is easily infectious in this song, and the harmonies and ending are nothing less than dreamy….I’m already hooked. “Holiday,” sounds exactly like it should; a beach song filled with melodies that make you want to get up and dance around the room. I may or may not be doing that right now. The band has mentioned that they took influences from ska bands such as Operation Ivy, and it really shows.
Autotune takes over in a new direction for the band on the shortest song on the album, “California English.” It takes a few listens to get used to this one, but in time, it starts to grow on you and the band is really determined to defend this one. “It doesn’t sound like T-Pain. There’s plenty of music from around the world using Autotune besides American Pop,” states Koenig. “Taxi Cab” and “Run,” show the more mature side of Vampire Weekend and it suits them. What we’re seeing here is a band trying to grow up, and they’re doing it well. Not only music wise, but also in lyrics such as in “Taxi Cab” which carry the words ”In the shadow of your first attack, I was questioning and looking back; You said baby we don’t speak of that; like a real aristocrat.” A true step from their prior work. “Run,” which brings out the musical maturity of the band is filled with unforgettable drums that rhythm keeper Christopher Tomson is quite proud of. “On this song, I experimented with certain rhythms that I avoided on the first record. I like how this song alternates between heavy, Rock-like choruses and reggaeton verses,” he says. I’m with him on this.
The next song brings us to “Cousins,” which was recordeded in Mexico City and has to be one of the most fun songs written in the past five years. The next track “Giving Up the Gun,” follows right in it’s footsteps making it a non stop indie dance party right in your own bedroom. “Diplomat’s Son,” continues the event with an explosion of reggae beats that seemingly fit the album like a glove. Closing out the experience is “I Think UR a Contra,” which is the most mellow song the band has ever recorded and it uses acoustic guitars and string sections. It’s a beautiful ending to this extremely surprising album. Vampire Weekend is going to be one of the most used names this year, so sit back and get comfortable with Contra. It’s going to be a long ride.
Vampire Weekend is also letting you stream the whole album on their Myspace starting yesterday afternoon. Give it a listen!