“I think I take myself too serious. It’s not that serious.” That could represent the evolution of Vampire Weekend’s music as they’ve grown older. Life changes when you’re no longer in college, but are in your 30s and married with a child. Has their music evolved into something more serious? Vampire Weekend’s fourth studio album Father of the Bride had eighteen tracks on which to express Ezra Koenig’s vision to us. This record included a number of collaborations and duets, as Koenig branched out into different styles of music including a little country and Americana. Touring in support of that latest record, Vampire Weekend hit a packed Madison Square Garden in New York and, boy, did they hit hard. To make it extra special, the concert was live-streamed on LiveNation’s Twitter account!!
Since Rostam Batmanglij departed the band in 2016, several other members were added to the touring roster including guitarist Brian Robert Jones who shredded hard at times, something I wasn’t expecting at a Vampire Weekend Show. As usual, Bassist Chris Baio is a crowd pleaser with his dance moves and fist pumps. But the crowd was primarily here to see Koenig, the voice of Vampire Weekend. The band played an amazing twenty five songs during the main set, with Steve Lacy joining them onstage for “Sunflower” as well as one of his own songs “Dark Red,” and Angélique Kidjo joining them for “”Jerusalem, New York, Berlin.” One of my favorites was “Hold You Now,” with keyboardist/guitarist Greta Morgan singing Danielle Haim’s part. Koenig sang the song from the back of the stage, making sure those who purchased tickets to seats behind the stage were able to get up close and personal for just a little bit.
During the encore, Vampire Weekend opened up the floor for requests and played “Ottoman,” “Obvious Bicycle” and “Run.” They closed with “Walcott” as giant balloon globes bounced around the arena. For any Vampire Weekend fan, this set was just incredible and Koenig has never sounded better. Since they also confirmed an extended tour for 2020, we couldn’t be more happy!
Article: Howard Shiau