Vampire Weekend kicks off 'Father of the Bride Tour' Tuesday
Vampire Weekend fans didn’t want to leave Tuesday night’s show and neither did the band, which performed for an additional 30 minutes after running through the setlist.
At the end of the show, band members came back on stage for a six-song encore, including audience requests for “Giving Up the Gun” and “The Kids Don’t Stand A Chance.”
A smoky stage, flashing red and blue lights and extended periods of jam sessions took Vampire Weekend and 1,000 fans effortlessly across a 19-song set. Opening with “White Sky,” the group mixed old hits with new cuts to ensure a night of variety.
Vampire Weekend kicked off its “Father of the Bride Tour” Tuesday at Asbury Hall. Ezra Koenig, the band’s lead vocalist, said the last time the band performed in New York was its 2014 show at the Buffalo Outer Harbor, besides an appearance at a 2016 Bernie Sanders rally in New York City. The tour is in support of the upcoming “Father of the Bride” album, which drops on Friday. The album is Vampire Weekend's first album since 2013’s “Modern Vampires of the City.” The band already released singles “Sunflower” and “Big Blue,” which were staples at Tuesday night’s performance.
Although some concert-goers were less familiar with the new singles, Angela Blersch, an ‘01 UB alum, said she mostly enjoyed hearing the band’s new songs and sent a video of “Sunflower” to her 4-year-old daughter.
“It’s great music, fun to vibe to and dance to.” Blersch said. “This is just an all around awesome band and it transcends the ages, from my 4-year-old daughter to her 40-year-old mother.”
Audience members –– ranging from teenagers to middle-agers –– sang along to bops like “Diane Young” and “Cousins,” and enjoyed the “jivey” danceability of newer singles such as “Unbearably White,” the song’s live debut.
Seth Klemenich, ‘18 Geneseo alum, said he has wanted to see Vampire Weekend since he was 15. Klemenich’s favorite part of the show wasn’t hearing 2008 classics like “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” or “A-Punk,” but the band’s cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Everywhere.”
“Definitely when they played ‘Everywhere,’ that was the best,” Klemenich said. “I almost died a little. I had no idea they even covered that.”
Band members spent ample time jamming with each other, eliciting happy-go-lucky energy and best-friend-like bonds between Koenig and touring guitarist Brian Robert Jones. Bassist Chris Baio was in a trance, dancing vehemently along to both the lighthearted and deeper-cutting tracks, like “Hannah Hunt” and “Step.”
The band matched the former sanctuary’s stained-glass ambience with a churchlike transition from “2021” to the would-be last song, “I Think Ur A Contra.” The near-religious experience left the audience wanting more, leading the band to come back and play hits “Campus” and “Oxford Comma” before asking for audience input.
Multiple people shouted requests for “Pizza Party” –– a track from Koenig’s days as a member of L’Homme Run –– but Koenig ultimately accepted requests for “Giving Up The Gun” and “The Kids Don’t Stand A Chance.”
Koenig joked with the audience before playing “Giving Up The Gun,” as someone asked if Joe Jonas would be making an appearance, referencing the song’s star-studded music video.
The band ended its six-song encore with “Ya Hey,” leaving audience members with the sound of Koenig’s ethereal howls echoing through their minds all the way home.
Jacklyn Walters is a co-senior news editor and can be reached at Jacklyn.Walters@ubspectrum.com and @JacklynUBSpec.