Concert review: Vampire Weekend with Beach House at Jannus Live, St. Petersburg (with setlist and photos)

[image-1]Vampire Weekend’s live show is filled with hits from both their self-titled first album and Contra, but with a distinctly different delivery than the recorded versions. This became very evident during “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,” when vocalist Ezra Koenig (clearly in a frisky mood, pictured left) added some profanity to the chorus, asking “Do you want to **** like you know I do?” The crowd gleefully shouted back this version for the rest of the song. The other changes were mainly electronic tweaks to their familiar tunes: Koenig’s autotuned vocals on “California English” were intentionally over-emphasized, and “Diplomat’s Son” was filled with odd experimental interludes.

I was thrilled that the set included my favorite, “I Stand Corrected,” as I was curious how the densely orchestrated string sections would play out live. I never expected multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij to play it on his keyboard; pretty impressive stuff.

The evening closed out with a hit-filled encore, and at Koenig’s request, the crowd raised their hands and wiggled fingers as the band launched into “Mansard Roof.” Closing the evening with “Walcott” was a great choice; Koenig's inquiry of "Don't you want to get out of Cape Cod tonight?" a seeming indication of summer's passing and a farewell to its long lazy days.



White Sky

Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa

I Stand Corrected



California English


Taxi Cab




Diplomat’s Son

Giving Up the Gun


Oxford Comma


Mansard Roof


More photos by Jamie:


As the days get shorter and a comfortable chill starts to hit the air, reminders that summer’s over are everywhere. I’m pretty sure someone forgot to send the memo to Vampire Weekend and Beach House, because Tuesday’s sold-out show at Jannus Live was packed with about as much summery pop as anyone could handle in an entire season, let alone one concert. [All photos by James Ostrand.]

I unfortunately arrived just a bit too late to catch the opening act, The Very Best. Their unique mix of dance, hiphop, pop and traditional Malawi music would have made an ideal complement to Vampire Weekend’s Afro-Western sound. I also really enjoyed their 2008 release Esau Mwamwaya and Radioclit are The Very Best, which featured samples from a slew of indie stars.

Indie darlings Beach House delivered a beautiful, though somewhat boring set before Vampire Weekend took the stage. Their music fit perfectly with the concert’s theme of '80’s-influenced summertime music, except where Vampire Weekend could score the soundtrack to a prepster comedy like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Beach House leans more towards the dark gloom of Less Than Zero. Even with Victoria Legrand’s otherworldly voice filling the courtyard during an epic rendition of “10 Mile Stereo,” everyone around us was much more interested in the Rays game on Jannus’ many televisions. [Legrand pictured above right.]

The crowd snapped to attention as Vampire Weekend ran down the spiral staircase on Jannus’ stage and instantly launched into the upbeat “Holiday” off their most recent release, Contra. Encouraged by the strange dance moves of bassist Chris Baio (kicking his legs out like an Irish jig), everyone instantly started bouncing around joyfully and never stopped once all evening. [More + photo gallery after the jump.]

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