Vampire Weekend are a lot of fun. Their first album told me this, the songs I’ve heard from the second reinforced this and seeing them headline a sold out gig last night proved this. From the moment they (literally) bounded on stage, smiles in place and blasted into White Sky, it was clear – this was going to be a fun gig. That too-familiar haze of tour-tiredness that affects some bands just didn’t seem to be considered, every member of the band was playing like they were loving every moment, and the (oddly, quite old) crowd showed their appreciation by exploding with joy at every new song they recognised.
With a nice mix of old and new tracks, the gig allowed for those of us who fell in love at first sight to indulge in those songs that made us smile two years ago while those who had only just heard the band got to revel in the new material. There were a couple of down moments as slower tracks weren’t as well received and, unfortunately, the brilliant B-Side ‘Boston’ simply wasn’t recognised by most of the crowd but on the whole the gig went from strength to strength. One thing to mention alongside the rest is just how nicely put together the stage set-up was: a row of (somewhat familiar) chandeliers lit up in sequence whilst spotlights all over the place illuminated each member and a huge Contra album cover unfurled during the first song. It just made the performance that more personal when you knew the band had had some influence on how the gig looked.
If you have a chance to see them on this current tour, I urge you to go – you won’t have more fun at a gig for a long time, I guarantee it.