Most of the time, I’m the kid. It’s been like that for a long time, I don’t know why. I was one of the oldest in my class all the way through school, but I ended up being the kid anyway. On my road, I made friends with people a year older than me, and I was always the kid. At school, when I was in Transition Year, I made friends with a couple of people in Sixth year and I was the kid in those relationships too. With Analogue and the people surrounding Analogue, I am a couple of years behind, so I can seem like the kid sometimes too, especially when I show up to interviews. The other night when I was playing a gig in Anseo, a woman was heard to say “he can’t be older than fifteen” as I got behind the microphone. I’m the kid. It just ends up that way, I don’t know why it is.
But last week, probably for the first time of my life, I felt old at a gig. At the age of twenty, I was suddenly the old curmudgeon, stuck in his ways with his headbanging and attempts at normal dancing. Around me were heaving swarms of underage girls being giddy about the band, and analogous swarms of underage boys trying to look cool in front of them. They pogoed. I tried to pogo too, but somehow, I was weighed down. I tried not to make a snide smile at their chants of “Ezra, Ezra” before the band started, but I couldn’t help it. I tried to zone out everyone else, but extended arms with phones and cameras surrounded me and dragged me back to a world where fame is the thing and the fact of Vampire Weekend being on stage in the first place is two-thirds of the battle for enjoying your night.
The band were a lot of fun though, I have to admit. They were feeding off the unselfconscious singing along (of the type I talked about before, with fists raised during lines about Peter Gabriel as if they were singing about world hunger), and putting the energy back into the show. The slightly more skeletal live approach worked really well, and songs that were skeletal to begin with, like Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa, probably came off the best.
I can’t pick out any weak moments in the set. They played everything off the album and one new song that sounded like Animal Collective (“I can see that, yeah” – bassist Chris Baio, upon being quizzed on this matter), and even included an ill-thought-out but nevertheless not-terrible Fleetwood Mac cover as an encore. They don’t simply replicate the sound of one of the year’s best albums, but they don’t try to mess with the formula either, and anyone with half a funnybone couldn’t have failed to enjoy this.
Oh, and a postscript to the bottle-blonde gentleman who felt it necessary to make a low-res digital video of most of the set over my head while simultaneously dancing… I can think of a website you might like.