Vampire Weekend are an institution. Or at least they feel that way to me. Looking at their name on my invitation to see them live at KCRW’s Apogee Berkeley Street Sessions brought back so many memories. The 2008 Los Angeles live show that left few concrete memories in it’s wake of dancing and fun. Two months later in Berlin they showed up to play ping pong at my all time favorite bar. (Ezra is pretty ace). There was the time a year an a half later when I pecked out my disappointed Contra review from the freezing winter hallway of Jagiellonian University in Kraków. More than most other bands, my associations with VW are weirder and run deeper.
So I was pretty stoked to see them live in such a small setting. (Thanks KCRW!)
Photo by Brenda Janair
Vampire Weekend’s first new single “Diane Young” gets weird quick, but that is exactly why its so great. Those farty horns, Ezra’s tripped out “baby, baby”, and the high speed at which it wraps you right into their latest world. Other jams like “Step” and “Unbelievers” tone things down a bit, allowing for the sprinkling of Rostam’s signature VW production to shine through.
Tune into KCRW tomorrow morning to hear the whole performance. It will be on air at 11:15am PST but the HD video will be available on demand starting at 9am. In the meantime you can catch a sneak peek of “Unbelievers” above and scope some photos here. It was a pretty damn fun way to hear the new songs and see the band in great spirits. Jason Bentley hosted and played a fun “guess which member” game with the guys. A must-listen for any hardcore Vampire Weekend fans.