Roskilde Festival: Day 3 Review: Vampire Weekend

By on Wednesday, 14th July 2010 at 2:00 pm

Vampire Weekend is headlining festivals everywhere this summer it seems (Rockness in June and T in the Park in July just to name two) so it was a surprise to me that they were going to play Arena, only the second largest stage at Roskilde. The preppy hipsters from New York City have two full albums to their name now, so any set by them is bound to be sunny and fun, perfect for the almost impossibly beautiful weather for this year’s Roskilde Festival.

Frontman and guitarist Ezra Koenig has perfected the art of stage patter, his disarming humour making each and every audience member laugh. Comparing their first performance ever at Roskilde to losing their virginity could have gone terribly wrong but somehow with Koenig’s boy-next-door joke delivery, it is truly funny. If Vampire Weekend’s career ever goes south, I think he has a future in stand-up.

With Vampire Weekend selling out venues in America with ease, I’m used to seeing a massive, screaming and fainting reception. So I have nearly forgotten that the Danish probably don’t really know too much about these guys from New York, unless they actually own the albums. Judging by the track by track reaction, the first album looks to have had much better traction than the newer ‘Contra’. Tracks like ‘Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa’ and ‘A-Punk’ cause the delirious, shouty, screamy responses I’m used to and for good reason: these are crowd pleasers.

And it looks like in general when it comes to festival crowds, the shorter, punchier numbers like ‘Mansard Roof’ and ‘Cousins’ go over better because of their immediacy, though ‘One (Blake’s Got a New Face)’ fares pretty well as Koenig gets everyone in the audience to scream the oh so delightfully bolshie ‘Blake’s got a new face!’ at the top of their lungs.

After their set, I reflected on just how far they’ve come since 2008’s ‘Vampire Weekend’. It’s a testament to talent that four kids that met at university could have put out two great albums and the songs can come together for such a fun, engaging set list like this. I wasn’t really sold on ‘Contra’ when it first came out in January, but seeing the songs performed live has changed my mind.

After the cut: set list.

Vampire Weekend Set List:
White Sky
Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa
I Stand Corrected
California English
One (Blake’s Got a New Face)
Diplomat’s Son
Giving Up the Gun
Oxford Comma
Mansard Roof

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[…] Vampire Weekend put on a fun if not mind-blowing set (read my in-depth review of Vampire Weekend here). But they were pretty much overshadowed by the throwback group of songs from the heyday of Joy […]

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