Vampire Weekend rocked The Barclays Center last night, and we, the fearless writers of Joonbug, were there! Sky Ferreira took the stage first, and roused the crowd with her soulful vibe, setting the tone for what was to come. She showcased a couple of songs from her debut album with her thick and sultry voice. Night Time, My Time, is set to be released next month, on October 29th. Solange took the stage next, and like a beautiful contradiction, crooned pop/R&B in her pitch-perfect style. That, my friends, was just the beginning.
Enter: Vampire Weekend (Ezra Koenig, Rostam Batmangli, Chris Tomson, and Chris Balo). The boys took to the stage amid deafening roars, as the crowd pressed forward. The band announced that it was the first time that they had been to NYC in “way too long,” and explained that even though “most people think we're from Boston, we actually hail from this great city.” The audience went wild as they felt even more connected with the band. V.W. launched into their ska-infused hit, Cousins, bopping to the beat in tandem. Vampire Weekend sailed through the hypnotic White Sky and catchy Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa, not missing a drop before diving into Diane Young. All perfection, with a slight hiccup; frontman Ezra Koenig unfortunately was marching to the beat of his own very special drummer, because he completely missed the intro! To his credit, he recovered quickly and was present and accounted for as the plain white backdrop collapsed into a busy floral-print wall, and columns descended from the ceiling, surrounding a giant convex mirror.
With renewed enthusiasm the crowd danced along to Unbelievers and Holiday, before chillin’ with some of their slower jams; Step, Horchata, and Everlasting Arms. The solemn mood didn't last for long before V.W. crashed into Finger Back and California English. Reggae-infused Ezra brought the show back to a fever-pitch, even when the lyrical content never really evolved. “It's easy to write a song that just takes down the easy targets” the frontman told Pitchfork, “It's more of a challenge to write a song that's about compassion towards people that you disagree with or people that represent something you think is reprehensible.”
Koenig explained, “The perfect tone is halfway between deeply serious and totally fucking around,” and, ultimately, the point of thinking about heavy issues in all these different ways is to improve the way you live, and the way you treat people, and that's an upbeat thing.” Vampire Weekend certainly helped to spread that message, as the energy in the crowd exploded into song. These rowdy concertgoers sang along to A-Punk, Boston (Ladies of Cambridge), Ya Hey, and an all-guitar arrangement of Don't Lie,before taking the party up yet one more notch with a stellar cover of Blur's Song 2. The crowd went crazy, moshing to a fierce light-show as the mirror on stage became a giant fisheye view of the scene.
Vampire Weekend wrapped up their set with Campus, Oxford Comma, Giving Up The Gun, and Obvious Bicycle before exiting the stage for a short break. They came back to a thrilled crowd for an encore of Hannah Hunt, One (Blake's Got a New Face), and Walcott, saying their final goodbyes, “Thank you! We're Vampire Weekend, GOODNIGHT!”
Regarding their new album: Ezra had reportedly told Rolling Stone, “We tried all different ways of working, little by little, until we reached a point where we could feel awesome about every song.” Well, we can tell you one thing for certain, Vampire Weekend undisputedly brought the house down for an unforgettable night!