June 24, 2019
After a six-year gap since their last album, Vampire Weekend is back with their fourth release, Father of the Bride. Shortly after openers Chicano Batman concluded their set, the band sauntered on stage in front of a massive globe, featured on their most recent album cover. Frontman Ezra Koenig, donning lime green shorts, wasted little time before launching into “Flower Moon” for the sold-out show at Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre.
The band made sure the audience got their money’s worth as they played their way through an over two-hour-long set that featured songs from their entire catalogue. Excitement swelled within the crowd when favorites such as “A-Punk,” “Hannah Hunt,” and “Oxford Comma” were played. It was clear that the new material connects with the audience just as well as their breakout songs, as fans sang along to nearly all of the new material. They even included three covers, ensuring there was something for everyone to enjoy.
The seven-piece band functioned like a well oiled machine as they performed with extreme precision on each of the 29 songs they played. Koenig proved to be an effective bandleader and a talented guitarist, while the rest of the band filled out the arrangements to make the songs come to life. Guitarist Brian Robert Jones had many chances to shine as the band extended multiple songs to include some impressive solo jams. Chris Bao stole the show on bass as he transfixed the audience with his energetic and near-constant dance moves. Two sets of drum kits were used in order to provide all of the hand percussion that is essential to Vampire Weekend’s sound. Rounding out the group was a selection of keyboards that helped recreate the organ and harpsichord sounds from their albums, as well as an acoustic piano for some of the quieter moments of the set.
Vampire Weekend may have taken a break for a while, but the band has clearly maintained their relevance. The group cycled through a wide variety of material and proved they have enough versatility and talent to put on a dynamic concert. Their sunny dispositions and the warm summer weather created a nice evening out for Charlotteans and smiles could be seen all around.
Check out the remaining 2019 tour dates for Vampire Weekend.
Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa
Peace Frog (The Doors cover)
New Dorp. New York (SBTRKT cover)
Hold You Now
California English (first time since 2014)
Don’t Dream It’s Over (Crowded House cover)
The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance