From the Midnight Sun blog:
Preppy New Yorkers
played their first concert in
Saturday night at Merriweather Post Pavilion. In a brisk two-hour set where they played crowd favorites like A-Punk and covered
, the boys were as well-behaved as Lawrence Welk.
After local dream pop duo Beach House finished their opening set, the boys sheepishly took the stage promptly at 9:30 p.m. There was no rock star entrance here. No late arrivals, no chants from the audience screaming the bands name in anticipation. The lights were just briefly dimmed, and the boys materialized. Where the crowd had politely received Beach House, shrieks exploded then as if
had been beamed in.
High school girls and suburban moms alike swooned as the band kicked off the show with Holiday. That's the thing about Vampire Weekend: it's-a-good-on-paper band. The kind of band you'd take home to meet your mother. They're clean dressers - big on Dockers and Adidas Sambas; went to a good school - no review of the band forgets to mention their
beginnings; and play the kind of friendly jams mom will approve of. On the Merriweather text-message JumboTron, at least one fan proposed to lead singer Ezra Koenig.
Its easy to see their rise to the top of the charts. Parents hear their contemporaries in the bands
-Paul-Simonesque vernacular; there were a lot of moms doing the white-person-overbite shuffle last night. And young listeners hear a
for the aughts. With this kind of whitebread appeal, Vampire Weekend is dangerously close to becoming that band lots of white people like.
There were so many suburban mothers and daughters, couples and their young children, that the crowd could have easily been swapped with Biebers at the
. The most honestly rockish moment of the night came during A-Punk, when the five-year-old next to me was gyrating so wildly I thought her parents might have fed her peyote buttons instead of candy corn.
Nowhere during their show did the band come near that little girls abandon. Is it really a rock show if there isnt a hair out of place on the lead singer by the end of the night? If his Dockers are not sweat-stained? Yes, their playing was competent, but at the end of the day, its still the kind of music youll hear as background at
; muzak for the Pitchfork set.
This was particularly clear when they covered Bruce Springsteens Im goin down, a defensive kiss-off ballad that Vampire Weekend rendered merely moving, a song to make out to when the babysitters not watching.
A highlight came during "One (Blakes got a brand new face), when drummer Christopher Tomson whacked his sticks together and the crowd clapped along in what felt like an honest-to-god lighters in the air moment. Later, multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij -profiled in
Saturday, by the way took second lead on a song, revealing an understated and actually, very sweet tenor. Its a shame he doesnt put it to use more often.
The boys have nothing to do with this, but memo to Merriweather: $6 for a hot dog - really? are these magic wieners you're selling? Reconsider, please.
In a nutshell: Lawrence Welk for the Pitchfork set.