As established in my last post praising LCD Soundsystem, the bar for live alternative rock has been set high for the rest of the year, and quite possibly my lifetime. Vampire Weekend had a tough act a to follow because once you know their music, you know what to expect. There’s little room for extra groove and tangential surprises. In fact the only surprise for me came with opening act Beach House, who I never bothered to listen to, though many had recommended them to me. After seeing them live, I now see why.
The four members of Beach House took the stage shrouded in darkness and mostly illuminated by three large, throbbing illuminated pyramids, which sometimes created a visual effect of a cavern disappearing into infinity behind them. For some reason (poor sound or my altered state?) I could not understand a word Victoria Legrand sang with her husky, breathy voice. Her vocals carried memories of Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star or a mellow Liela Moss (of Duke Spirit), as she stroked the keyboard. The songs unfolded slowly and reverberated with undulating keyboards and mellow affected guitars, on a steady beat that poured out softly thanks to guest drummer Graham Hill use of soft timpani sticks on the kit. It was some beautiful, dreamy stuff. I videoed three songs here:
Then Vampire Weekend were on, and they brought energy and spunk to their songs on a very simple stage set-up with a couple of projected images for visuals. It was really about the music, and they did their songs respect. The crowd ate it up and sang along when ordered to do so. Not much else to say beyond that their performance was tight with a nice flow of songs culled from their two albums, their self-titled debut and Contra. I was able to video several songs; they are all complete:
This one got cut after my memory card got full: