Vampire Weekend celebrates Contra at Bowery Ballroom (1/19)

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    “This is a celebration for the new album,” Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig declared midway through the band’s Tuesday night performance at New York’s Bowery Ballroom. “And, given this is a celebration, let’s dance,” he added, as his band segued into an all-too-perfect rendition of “A-Punk”.

    In so many words, this essentially summed up the scene that unfolded during the acclaimed indie outfit’s final show of what had been a three-day, completely sold out homecoming. This particular performance was the most intimate of concerts, featuring an audience made up of friends who scored themselves a spot on the guest list and diehard fans who either got lucky on Ticketmaster or threw hundreds at Craigslist scalpers, all of whom were packed tight into the much-too-small 550-capacity Bowery Ballroom in one united hope to celebrate the band they so adored. And oh, what a celebration it was!

    Tuesday’s 80-minute performance was essentially a celebration of everything we’ve come to love about Vampire Weekend: the many talents of multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij, the bass playing perfection of Chris Baio, the jaw-dropping musicianship that has allowed Chris Tomson to evolve into one of the premier drummers in all of music, Koenig’s captivating and engaging persona (attributes which are, of course, as enjoyable as the musician’s incredible vocals and guitar playing), the band’s newly released sophomore gem and the talents that justified they were not a fluke, and, ultimately, the musical, instrumental, and vocal brilliance that have not only made Vampire Weekend one of the tightest bands you’ll ever hear live, but currently one of the best musical outfits on the scene.


    Returning to the stage following two jaw-dropping, back-to-back performances of “Campus” and “Oxford Comma”, Koenig and his crew would provide one more reminder of the brilliance these friends and fans had once again just witnessed. Perhaps, only appropriately, the band soon segued into one of its more unique numbers to date, Contra‘s “Horchata” only to ultimately return to its roots, so to speak, and cap off the evening with “Mansfard Roof” and “Walcott”. Multi-talented, diverse, flawless, catchy, and damn good — these are the characteristics of this still oh-so-young New York outfit. They know and we know. So, why not celebrate it?

    White Sky
    Cape Cod Kwassa
    I Stand Corrected
    California English
    Taxi Cab
    One (Blake’s Got A New Face)
    Diplomat’s Son
    Giving Up The Gun
    Oxford Comma

    Mansfard Roof