By Craig Brown
Having made a significant breakthrough in 2008 with their critically acclaimed self titled LP, Vampire Weekend played their largest Scottish headline show to date at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro. The Ezra Koenig fronted four-piece, last played to a packed out Barrowlands in 2010, and this was a considerable step up for the New York based outfit. “We’ve been coming here for years” proclaims frontman, and this is true. Vampire Weekend have been touring the UK long before their debut release, and this groundwork has paved the way for the band to be able to play shows on this scale.
Opening the night with the quirky Diane Young, the first single to be taken from 2013 release ‘Modern Vampires of the City’. A joyous, yet somewhat sparsely filled, arena greets the band with an incredible response. Standing before a floral backdrop, with suspended Greek pillars and a huge mirror, Koenig, and the band work their way seamlessly through the opening tracks, with Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa bringing the loudest reaction of the evening so far.
With the infamous Glasgow “here we f***** go” chant ringing round the venue, frontman Ezra Koenig leans into the mic, “we’re going to start that one again, we messed up”. It’s these high standards that have brought the band such success which has included 3 top 20 UK releases, as well as their previous 2 albums climbing to the top of the American billboard chart.
Continuing with Horchata, the opening track from 2010’s ‘Contra’, and bringing the house down with the magical A – Punk, there’s a feeling that Vampire Weekend are no longer the raw, unfinished band that first graced these shores in the mid 2000’s. Although loudest responses of the night are still no doubt reserved for tracks from their debut release.
Bringing the main part of the show to a close with the rather sombre Obvious Bicycle, the band make a triumphant return to stage performing One and Hannah Hunt, with the former truly showcasing the vocal range of the charismatic, boiler suit adorned frontman. The evening is brought to a rapturous end with a rousing version of Walcott.
With a full UK arena tour, and no doubt a busy festival season in 2014, it won’t be long until Vampire Weekend are back gracing huge venues and doing so in style.