The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Vampire Weekend kills it at the Hollywood Bowl

A starlit backdrop and cool canyon breeze painted a surreal image for concert goers at the Hollywood Bowl on Saturday as Vampire Weekend lit up the sky for their Modern Vampires of the City tour.

The international language of music brought out a crowd that surpassed any gender or cultural stereotypes of musical tastes. Attracting a group of various ages, Vampire Weekend’s mature yet youthful sound appeals to every generation.

This is all partial due to my residence in the ethnic crock-pot that is Los Angeles, but to witness a celebration among a wide variety of locals was a beautiful sight.

Opening the night’s festivities was the musical ensemble with a distinct Spanish sound, Beirut. The electrifying trumpet solos and live accordion rhythms echoed throughout the amphitheater that is so appropriately named the Bowl.

Their last night in L.A., Beirut delivered a performance with zealous power and a hint of longing for one more summer night in Southern California.

Comedian Nathan Fielder, star of Comedy Central’s “Nathan for You,” made an appearance with an introduction that looked like an episode of Punk’d gone wrong. Fielder brought his girlfriend on stage for a “pretend proposal” that dragged on past the point of necessary. Drummer Chris Tomson made an appearance which livened up the crowd more than the skit.

As lead singer Ezra Koenig, bassist Chris Baio and the keyboardist/guitarist Rostam Batmanglij casually strolled to their posts, a massive pandemonium ensued, engulfing the furthest reaches of the canyon.

Immediately bursting through the riotous sound waves, the band took off with their earliest release, “Cousins.”

Dressed in an all black jumpsuit, Koenig resembled a cross between Elvis and Johnny Cash strumming away on his guitar and striking each chord with a rockabilly flavor that was all his own.

Getting the crowd to their feet, the romantic lyrics and upbeat tempos of “Diane Young” caused a wave of simultaneous head bobbing and hip rocking.

Batmanglijs’ keyboard ballads during “Unbelievers” and “Step” portrayed the coming of age story behind the band’s recent album release. The third album amongst the prep school influenced discography; “Modern Vampires of the City” is a true testament of the band members crossing into adulthood.

The ever composed and enigmatic Koenig flashed a smirk and asked, “Everyone feeling good and warmed up now?” after the lively “California English”.

A giant baroque mirror adorned the wall behind the band which showcased the smiling faces of the crowd during “Ya Hey”. As “Giving up the Gun” played, a vortex appeared in place of the reflections taking the audience back to the songs that established Vampire Weekend as the it band of the indie rock generation.

While “Campus” beckoned through the speakers I couldn’t help but think back to my freshman year trotting along Matador Walk. A true nostalgic treat for any longtime fan of Vampire Weekend their performances of “A-Punk”, “Horchata” and “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” kept any side conversations at bay.

The Columbia graduates eclectic use of lyrical genius showcases the band’s distinctive sound. One of the highlights of the night was the crowd mimicking Koening’s foul language in “Oxford Comma”.

As the band exited the stage swiftly it caused scores of screams and a coalition had emerged to bring back the influencers of the night.

Vampire Weekend returned and Koenig picked up his guitar and looked out to the highly spirited populace, “This next song is about a girl from the bay area”, he simply stated about “Hannah Hunt”.

The final song and melancholic ending to an energetic evocative performance, “Walcott” led the crowd to transform into head bangers at a heavy metal show exemplifying the versatility that is Vampire Weekend.

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