Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Une Soiree De Poche avec Vampire Weekend

I was snooping around La Blagotheque last night and came across a Vampire Weekend concert that they had hosted. Now, I must admit that I had written off Vampire Weekend as a simplistic, non-substantive band with music that couldn’t stand up to repeated listening and reveal further depth, like say Arcade Fire or Broken Social Scene.

However, to compare them to a heady Arcade Fire-esque band is to misunderstand them entirely. This performance helped me realize that their appeal lies in their infectiously charming and simply danceable music. They are not complex, nor do they try to be. They embrace that they are just a fantastically fun band that wants you to dance with them. Seeing the joy on their faces as they perform, and the sheer dancability of it all -- my god! I have a new found appreciation for them, and this show of theirs is how they ought to be enjoyed.

Considerable credit must also be given to the folks at Blagotheque. They have the uncanny ability to peel back the theatrics of strobe lights, skirt the abstract separation of a stage that obscures music, and change the act of listening to music to an experience.

They do a particularly good job with this show. It makes me think of some high school band class where everyone is involved and it’s not so much a performance as it is just a group of friends playing music for some other friends. There are no pretenses or an attempt to be rock stars. The aura of openess and sheer enjoyment is readily palpable.

The band’s interaction with the audience is amazing. During the second song, Ezra Koenig beckons them to all stand up and dance, and by the fourth song he's mingling and dancing with the crowd. By the time they get to their finale, if you’re not smiling and dancing too you’re a heartless robot.

Watch the damn thing. It may be the best 23 minutes that you can spend.

BTW is it just me or does the lead singer look like Emilio Estevez in the Breakfast Club?

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