UK rockers The Vaccines came across the pond to play early and late shows at the Rough Trade record store and live venue in Brooklyn to promote their already highly-acclaimed third album English Graffiti released this May on Columbia, after just breezing by the Big Apple earlier this year as part of the Mumford & Sons’ New Jersey festival. We caught their amazing sold out late show at the expansive, yet intimate venue to the cries and harmonizing sing-a-longs of swooning young lasses.
The Vaccines only formed a few years back but have already become the “go to” band as explosive opener, launching shows for everyone from The Rolling Stones and Arcade Fire to Muse and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. They still have showed no signs of slowing the rocketing rise to the top with their new album, they’ve jettisoned some of their post-punk thrash in lieu of some 80’s new wave sheen – that not only rocks the propellant, but also proves to be the perfect slow-burn dance your butt off jam of the Summer, like a hardcore British Ramones evolving into an enchanting Jesus and Mary Chain.
From the moment they came out, front-man and guitarist Justin Hayward-Young had the audience in the palm of his hand, soaring away with the opener of the new LP aptly entitled “Handsome.” From there they spanned through their catalogue, from early rockin’ ditties like “Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)” and “Wetsuit” from their 2011 disc What Did You Expect from The Vaccines? to “Ghost Town” and “Bad Mood” from their second Come of Age LP. Still, it was mostly the new songs that really blew me over, like “Dream Lover” and “Give Me A Sign,” all of which seem impossible not to sign along to, although the whole high ceiling room of superior acoustics seemed to be stuffed full throughout with jovial harmonies from an incredibly thrilled audience, a grand chamber sound that was all encompassing during the closer of “All in White.”
There were even some surprises, like an early track “A Lack of Understanding,” that Justin asserted they had not played in a very long time, even claiming to have forgotten the lyrics before it had started – prompting him to check a lyric sheet first, which surprised me as I had always assumed that was a big early hit for them. Then there was their startling encore, starting with an a cappella acoustic version of “No Hope” by Jusin alone on stage and the closer of “Nørgaard,” also from their early days, a song I thought had been all but forgotten, but seemed vibrant and alive all over again.
Article: Dean Keim