Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on Mar 17th 2010 10:00AM by Jason Cohen
"This was one of the all-time great Tuesday nights," Koenig enthused late in the set, and he didn't mean because the newest 'Lost' was waiting for him on the tour bus DVR.
Koenig's Ricky Nelson charm and hurried vocals keep fans enthralled, but the heart of Vampire Weekend's live sound is the rhythm. Koenig's Afrobeat guitar is part of that, but it's the compact yet complicated work of drummer Chris Tomson and bassist Chris Baio that really anchor things (most noticeably on the guitar-free 'I Stand Corrected'), while Rostam Batmanglij's keyboards veer from garage-rock fills to faux-flute trills.
The band's minimalist stage set-up included a backdrop of the 'Contra' album cover and five chandeliers above their heads, along with a rack of strobes that flashed repeatedly for nearly every heated instrumental moment, always to the crowd's screaming delight. At other times, dramatic purple backlighting and blinding floor spotlights gave off a sense of new wave mystery.
When Koenig said the next song is about "family," someone in the crowd started singing "me and my cousins" at the top of his lungs before the frenetic 'Cousins' actually started. 'Walcott' also got a massive singalong, as did Koenig's falsetto moments during a confidently mellow 'Oxford Comma.'
During the encore, Koenig mentioned how the band had played Missoula twice before, both times at local rock club the Badlander . "We said, 'one day we're gonna sell out the Wilma Theater,'" Koenig recalled. "No kidding. So now we can retire. This was one of our goals."
Vampire Weekend remain on tour in North America through April 20, including an appearance at Coachella. Eighteen of the band's 21 headline dates are already sold out.