The first time I saw Vampire Weekend, We All Want Someone didn’t even exist. It was a cold rainy evening, (January 28, 2008, to be exact) at the Bowery Ballroom where Vampire Weekend were celebrating the release of their debut album to a packed crowd. I could have told you right then and there that they were going to be huge. I still remember the performance of “Walcott” from that night, and how there was just something special in the air, that I hadn’t experienced before. I knew they would have success, but it was pretty mind-blowing to see them rocking out at Barclays Center last night.
For the first 3 songs in the photo pit, I was ironically in a relatively similar position as I was at that Bowery Ballroom show 5 years ago. Only, there were a couple thousand more people there with me.
To be quite frank, the band still plays with the same buoyancy and joyful excitement as they always have. Their stage command has improved, and they look more confident and professional. They are now capable of rocking out these large stages because they’ve consistently gotten better as a band.
New songs such as “Diane Young”, “Unbelievers” and “Step” sounded absolutely massive live, and to hear them mixed with “White Sky”, “Holiday” and “Giving Up The Gun” was an assault of the senses in the fullest manner. Throw in all the classics such as “Walcott”, “A-Punk”, “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” and what may be my favorite song of theirs because of sentimentality, “Ladies Of Cambridge.” They skipped that one at Roseland the last time they were in New York, to my dismay. Sure still was no “Mansard Roof” or “M79” but it was a pleasure to hear them flesh out versions of Modern Vampires Of The City tracks such as “Don’t Lie” and “Hannah Hunt.” Oh there was also a rock star cover of Blur’s “Song 2′ that proved that they are very much able to cut it as an arena band.
It’s been a crazy journey to watch these guys evolve as a band. I’m really proud to see how far they’ve come, and that they’ve still stayed humble and true to themselves, and their fans.
Below, find Vampire Weekend’s setlist, as well as more photos from their set, as well as of Solange and Sky Ferreira, who opened the show, providing two different styles of female pop that got the crowd warmed up. There’s also a brief iPhone video I took of their cover of Blur’s “Song 2.”
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