Vampire Weekend at the Ryman Auditorium (Show Review | Photo Gallery)
Oh Nashville, we thank you for providing us with another unforgettable evening at the Mother Church aka Ryman Auditorium. This time we enjoyed the sweet sounds of preppy indie-outfit Vampire Weekend, who casually strolled into town this Monday in support of the band’s third album, “Modern Vampires of the City,” released in May of this year. The album marked the band’s second number one Billboard 200 album in their seven-year career, so the fact that the show ended up selling out was completely expected. And packed it was.
Upon finding our seats, we barely managed to make it through the doorways of the balcony section as a conga-line of eager fans had formed and stood in hopes of grabbing some gear from the upstairs merch table. However, in times like this, you don’t complain. You find the nearest bar and slip in for a quick drink order while the majority are preoccupied. That’s lesson number one. Just as we took our seats, Los-Angeles based The Olms took the stage to a mostly, or even completely unfamiliar audience. No lies here, our research on the retro-rockers began that morning, so we fit right in. The Olms are the marriage of Pete Yorn and J.D. King, who’s throwback get-up made us question his lineage to Anchorman’s Ron Burgundy. It was a laid-back performance with traded lead vocals from the band who provided us with stuck-in-your-head modern western medleys. As a result, the attention was not purposefully demanded but more so served as background music while fans were chatting about the excitement of the next act, Vampire Weekend.
Once they took the stage, the shrills from teenage girls were so loud that even Justin Bieber’s biggest fan would say “respect”. Especially the chick who happened to be sitting behind our seats. Starting off their set with ‘Cousins” and “White Sky” from the band’s second album Contra, the production value was immediately felt as rotating lights and strobes that were strategically placed around the outskirts of the stage perfectly matched that swirling guitar notes. The casual vibes were further reinforced by stage decoration that was revealed after “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,” or maybe even a few songs later, which featured your grandmother’s favorite wallpaper — a floral arrangement of white and red carnations including a gigantic golden mirror fit for Snow White.
The band achieved a nice balance of old-and-new by paying respect to long-time fans by way of “A-Punk”, “Oxford Comma”, and the closing song “Walcott”. And we definitely give our thumbs-up approval on setlist construction for equally spacing out selected tracks from each one of the band’s albums. Regardless of which was played, the foot-stomping and hand-clapping was at an all-time high. The excitement was real, and while most women were busy focusing on the chilled-out demeanor of Ezra Koenig, we couldn’t help but admire the true “white boy” dance skills of bassist and backing vocalist Chris Baio.
Our favorite show-closing moment was following the band’s return to the stage for the encore, which was equally as piercing as the show-opening. Prior the start of “Hannah Hunt,” the encore opener, a fan in the audience proceeded to get the attention of Ezra, who quickly grabbed the girl’s driver license that listed her name as “Hannah Hunt”. As the youngster then gifted over the license, we just hope that she made it home safe without getting pulled over.
Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa
(With “Shots” intro)
Giving Up the Gun