Live Review: Vampire Weekend @ Terminal 5, 12/4/08
If you’ve ever been to an English department mixer/off-campus kegger that happened to take place in an airplane hangar, you would have felt right at home at the Vampire Weekend show last Thursday at Terminal 5.
Equipped with two U-shaped balconies, a giant disco ball and a smoke machine, the venue isn’t exactly reminiscent of campus housing. But the stench of pot smoke tinged with beef jerky and all of those songs about what people do after class made it feel like a dorm. So, with the polyrhythmic nonsequiturs and whip-smart lyrics that landed Vampire Weekend's eponymous debut nearly atop our Best of 2008 music list, the band tried its best to drown out the incessant chatter of the North Face vest-clad frat boys and the wannabe Proust scholars in corduroy blazers.
Unfortunately, as the crowd got drunker, they paid less attention, and by the third song, the setpiece “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,” the music was sounding more like a CD playing at a house party on volume 3. It wasn't until four songs later, during the slow, beautiful part near the end of “Boston," that the audience shut up for a minute.
The good behavior continued for the next three songs, even when Koenig invited a string quartet onstage for “Kids Don’t Stand a Chance.” The song is a complex beauty, the accompaniment perfection: the verses conjure the Police and the chorus explodes into a summer day. And just before the boys crashed into "Oxford Comma," a humbly excited Ezra announced the band started work on new album. "Best record of 2009!" he exclaimed, pumping his fist in the air as the song started and everyone sang along in the shared triumph of a thousand English majors.
1,000 Words: Vampire Weekend - New York, NY - Terminal 5 - 12/4/08
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