Vampire Weekend played in Holyoke, Mass. on Sept. 13, and the band is arguably one of the best acts touring today.
The event took place at outside venue Mountain Park, which is nearly impossible to find. The forested venue, described by lead singer Ezra Koenig as “The Haunted Hills of Holyoke,” provided a perfect backdrop for a band that takes their name from a mythical race of blood suckers. Holyoke was the band’s second stop on their “Massachusetts Saga,” first playing a show at the Bank of America Pavilion in Boston the night before.
Opening up for Vampire Weekend was the emo-pop female quartet known as the Dum Dum Girls, and an ambient piano driven indie-pop group called Beach House. The two opening acts, while not nearly as energetic as the main event, drew a good sized crowd of enthusiast fans and applause at the end of their sets.
After a mere ten minutes of set-up, the stage lit up yellow, causing the scattered groups of people to rush toward it. Almost instantly, the band came out hopping and crip-walking to DJ Khaled’s “All I Do is Win,” which came to a victorious arms-raised climax as T-Pain proclaims “Every time I step up in the buildin’ everybody hands go up.”
Ezra Koenig, the quirky leader of the group, addressed the crowd stating how happy the band felt to be in Western Massachusetts for the first time, and then caused an eruption by picking out the opening riff to the band’s new hit “Holiday.” From that point, the band took off playing every track available on their discography so far, including a cover in their own jangly indie-rock style, of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m Goin’ Down.” The vibe was incredible.
Everything was solid for the New York quartet with a couple songs noticeably slowed down from their studio versions, but still maintaining their upbeat feel. Their initial 18-song set finished with the band’s personal shot at grammar, “Oxford Comma,” before returning to the stage to play their three song encore. Still enthusiastic all the way to the end, the band finished fittingly with “Walcott,” putting forth their desire to get “outta Cape Cod tonight.” The crowd held their applause long after the band exited, topping off a successful first leg of their 2010 summer tour.
Overall the event was a success for Vamp Weekend, producing no short falls for the group of former college classmates. The band is currently touring the East Coast.