warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Vampire Weekend Turn Up The Heat At The Hollywood Bowl

Piya Sinha-Roy |
September 28, 2010 | 1:09 p.m. PDT

Senior Entertainment Editor


Vampire Weekend on stage at The Hollywood Bowl (Photo by Piya Sinha-Roy)
Vampire Weekend on stage at The Hollywood Bowl (Photo by Piya Sinha-Roy)
New York band Vampire Weekend showed the audience at the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday night how to throw an indie party.  

Opening for the band was The Very Best, a Malawian band performing lively songs accompanied with dancers. My initial confusion as to why this band were opening for Vampire Weekend was later cleared up as I realized how Vampire Weekend themselves incorporate a lot of reggae and African music influences within their own sounds. 

Beach House were next to take the stage, and immediately mellowed down the mood of the audience with eerily beautiful songs. Lead singer Victoria Legrand seemed a little swallowed up by the large Hollywood Bowl stage and chose to keep herself covered by her mop of curly hair throughout the entire set, but delivered a strong set nonetheless.

Entering the stage to DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win”, Vampire Weekend’s energy immediately livened up the night. Kicking off the night with “Holiday” and “White Sky”, lead singer Ezra Koenig took over the stage with his personality and impressive falsettos, harmonized perfectly with keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij and bassist Chris Baio, producing the sound so unique to Vampire Weekend. Drummer Chris Thompson also delivered strong drum solos and more importantly, kept up the continual pace of the integral punky beats underlying most Vampire Weekend songs.

Surprisingly, the band opted to sing “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” early in the first part of their set, and put one of their biggest hits, “Cousins,” towards the end of the first part of their set, and not leave it for the encore. The crowd suspected that they were leaving “A-Punk” till the end, but yet again, were surprised when the second part of the set kicked off with the iconic hit song.

Throughout the entire performance, the stage background kept changing to set the mood – with chandeliers popping off throughout the upbeat numbers, stage lights jumping around to the snappy beats of songs like “One (Blake’s Got A New Face)” and a dimly lit map of The Port Of Contra accompanying the slower songs like “Horchata.”

The biggest surprise of the night was how good lead singer Koenig’s voice was live – listening to the album, it’s easy to assume that Koenig relies heavily on falsettos and loud indie beats, but it was the slower songs of the set that made the night so magical. The band performed "I Think Ur A Contra" live for the first time in LA, and against the stunning backdrop of a starry sky at the Hollywood Bowl on a warm, balmy night, it was hard not to feel the caught up in the moment and be captivated by Koenig’s charm.

After an epic 20-track, 2-part set that also threw in a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m Going Down,” Vampire Weekend decided to say goodbye in the best way they know how – through their goodbye song, “Walcott.”  

Reach Senior Entertainment Editor Piya Sinha-Roy here.

VIDEO: Vampire Weekend perform "Cousins" live at the Hollywood Bowl.




Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.