Live Review: Vampire Weekend + Little Red – Metro Theatre, Sydney (04.08.08)

Hype.

If there was one word to describe this band, it would be that. No other indie band has ever gotten so much press so quickly … not even The Arctic Monkeys had it so good. Well that was the case in New York, at any rate, with Vampire Weekend taking the prestigious cover spot in the March 2008 issue of SPIN magazine, being touted as “The Best Band of the Year”… in other words “The Next Big Thing”. Never before had a band without a debut album accomplished such a feat.

Last night’s sold out show in Sydney, about as far away from New York as you can get, should be a good indication that they’ve indeed lived up to this expectation… at least in ticket and CD sale standards.

But what about the hype? Are they worth it? Or are they just another “I like them because everyone else likes them, even if they aren’t anything special, live or otherwise” (Hot Chip I’m looking at you). Well my past experiences with these sorts of bands was that they wouldn’t live up to the hype, they’d come on for half an hour, play their songs half-arsed, walk off stage, leaving us all to ponder why exactly we were into the band in the first place. And such was the precise experience I was expecting this time, whilst regretting that I chose them over the Cold War Kids… playing at the Enmore Theatre on the same night.

I guess all this predication goes back to my original experience with the band’s debut self-titled LP and it’s saturation of FBi and JJJ radio stations. I just wasn’t sure if I was enjoying their music because everyone was telling me I should (when in reality it was painfully average)… or because it was genuinely kick arse.

Until last night I don’t think I’d made up my mind.

The Verdict?

They do indeed live up to the hype, and their music makes me dance my face right off. They are fun guys, enjoyed playing to the crowd, and often voiced a rarely heard apology: that they were sorry they didn’t have any more material to push the concert beyond an hour. But with that hour making up basically the entire LP, and some fantastic sounding new songs, no one was left unsatisfied… we all wanted more, and by the sounds of the new stuff, it won’t be long before we do get more quality tunes from this enigmatic New York foursome, born from and rare survivors of “the hype”.

Support Band Little Red also did a fantastic job opening up for Vampire, with the room packed in tight by the end of their performance. As their album does indeed suggest, I think we should all be listening to these guys, an LP of which I plan to give a listen to in the near future.

Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.

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