All Photos by Flavia McBride
Two days before thousands of people swarmed to Indio, CA for the Coachella Music and Arts Festival, a seemingly endless line of ticket holders weaved their way around the circumference of The Fox Theater in Pomona to see Vampire Weekend perform a sold-out show.
The five piece band from New York recently released their sophomore album Contra to rave reviews. The album even hit number one on the Billboard 200, and it was clear that fans at The Fox Theater had Contra in constant iPod rotation since its release.
Vampire Weekend opened with "White Sky" and the room instantly erupted with energy that would hold throughout the entire performance. The audience danced, sang, and cheered along to favorites like "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa", "One (Blake's Got A New Face)" and "A Punk".
The mood quickly became relaxed for a calm and stripped down performance of "Taxi Cab", but picked right back up for "Run" during which the eyes of the woman pictured on the giant backdrop (and Contra album cover) lit up like lasers.
Frontman Ezra Koenig interacted frequently with the audience, making endearing quips between songs. At one point, when asking the crowd to sing along, he said "It's gotta be funky. Not Baja Fresh, more Del Taco, know what I mean?"
Bassist Chris Baio demonstrated some admirable dance moves, and the entire band seemed genuinely excited to play together.
Vampire Weekend closed with "Oxford Comma" before returning to play three encore songs. Koenig thanked the audience and boldly declared to all those not attending Coachella that the festival "might not get any better" than this performance.
In a way, he was right. Not only were Koenig's vocals spot on the entire night, but the band as a whole was able to perform in a polished yet natural way. There were no instances where I felt like I could sense the band thinking, rather they seemed to be able to let go and have fun without worrying about the result.
The attitude definitely transferred to the audience; it seemed like the crowd could not have been any more excited to spend an evening rocking out with Vampire Weekend, and neither could I.
Check out more photos from Vampire Weekend's set at The Fox Theater on our flickr account: http://www.flickr.com/photos/themusicpirate
See videos of Vampire Weekend's ENTIRE set at The Fox Theater on Eszter's YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/eszterzimanyi
Keep up with Vampire Weekend at their websites: