Los Angelenos came out in throngs to the Henry Fonda Theater to celebrate the release of Vampire Weekend’s second album, Contra, this week. Stars like Kate Bosworth, Joe Jonas, and Danny Masterson were just a few in attendance at the sold-out show.
The long-awaited new album follows up the Columbia University graduates’ critically acclaimed self-titled debut and finds the four-piece building on its ever-innovative musical wizardry.
Bedecked in their signature preppy oxford shirts, the guys delivered one crowd-pleaser after another, getting the audience going with their unique brand of feel-good cerebral pop-rock. The crowd was filled with all walks of life, from guys in Nantucket Reds to bespectacled indie rockers, who all came together, dancing and singing along with lines like, “dress yourself in bleeding madras” without a trace of irony.
The set featured all but two songs from VW’s lauded debut and every song was met with wild cheers. The new songs merged seamlessly in the set, especially the catchy new single “Cousins,” which could have easily been an outtake from the first album.
Frontman Ezra Koenig may seem an unlikely rock star, playing his guitar up high and wearing preppy duds, but his talent overshadows the superficial stuff. With his literary leanings and varied musical influences, Koenig has helped usher in a new brand of substance-over-style frontmen.
“This is the traditional Vampire Weekend song for farewell,” said Koenig, before delving into the set-closer “Walcott,” where he had a room full of Californians happily singing along about East Coast summertime boredom.
The guys play three New York dates next week, before heading abroad, and then return for a full U.S. tour in March.
Sun 01/17/10 New York, NY United Palace
Mon 01/18/10 New York, NY Webster Hall
Tue 01/19/10 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
Tue 03/16/10 Missoula, MT Wilma Theatre
Thu 03/18/10 Salt Lake City, UT In The Venue
Fri 03/19/10 Denver, CO Ogden Theatre
Sat 03/20/10 Aspen, CO TBA
Mon 03/22/10 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
Tue 03/23/10 Milwaukee, WI Riverside Theatre
Thu 03/25/10 Chicago, IL Riviera Theatre
Sat 03/27/10 Knoxville, TN Tennessee Theatre
Mon 03/29/10 Columbus, OH Lifestyle Communities Pavilion
Tue 03/30/10 Toronto, ON Sound Academy
Thu 04/01/10 Boston, MA Orpheum Theatre
Fri 04/02/10 Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory
Sat 04/03/10 Washington, DC DAR Constitution Hall
Mon 04/05/10 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
Tue 04/06/10 Asheville, NC The Orange Peel
Thu 04/08/10 Atlanta, GA The Tabernacle
Fri 04/09/10 New Orleans, LA House Of Blues
Sat 04/10/10 Austin, TX Stubb’s Bar-B-Q / Waller Creek Amph.
Sun 04/11/10 Dallas, TX House Of Blues
Tue 04/13/10 Tempe, AZ The Marquee
Wed 04/14/10 Pomona, CA Fox Theater Pomona
Mon 04/19/10 Oakland, CA Fox Theater