Published Mar 31, 2010Collars and cardigans may seem less "Brooklyn rock star" than "Ivy League entitlement," but Vampire Weekend proved to an enthusiastic and sold-out Sound Academy that they're not afraid of a little hard work. The Columbia University grads greeted the audience with "White Sky" from their recent sophomore LP, Contra, beneath four chandeliers and a blown-up image of that Kim Basinger lookalike who gazes longingly from Contra's cover.
Lead singer Ezra Koenig and his cronies soon revisited their self-titled debut with the songs that catapulted the band into success just two years ago. "Mansard Roof" and "M79" (which Koenig likened to "happiness mixed with aggression mixed with jalapeno poppers") were particularly welcomed, while "Holiday" came with a burst of childlike energy, perhaps reminding the audience how truly short a time we've been acquainted with VW. A career only two albums deep leaves little room to dig up anything vintage, but the upside to having such a short history is a catalogue that fans know in and out.
After leading the crowd through a lesson in fist pumping, the band launched into "Run," at which point laser beams protruded from the Contra woman's eyes. From the Auto-Tune gibberish that began "California English" to the lonely drums of "Taxi Cab," the show reaffirmed what should by now be already clear: Vampire Weekend shall not be swallowed up by any sophomore slump.
Closing the night with "Walcott," their traditional song of departure, Vampire Weekend bode farewell to Toronto once again, with 2,500 hipsters singing them away.