Monday, January 31, 2011

Vampire Weekend: Too Cool For School

Sometimes you just have to be standing in the front with two hundred other crazy fans bouncing up and down while dodging plastic cups filled with beer. The experience sure beats... sitting down.

Terminal 5, which was once the location of the famed club Exit popular in the late 90's for being a maze of themes and pumping bubbles on to the main dance floor, is now home to hosting a variety of popular musical acts. From M.I.A. and Massive Attack to She & Him and Smashing Pumpkins, shows at Terminal 5 are bound to be sold out. It is a standing room venue with multiple floors. The second and third floors form a perimeter on top of the main floor. If you hang out there, it will be like watching a concert from a balcony. The height is vast yet still intimate in proximity to the stage. One thing that stays the same at the transformed space is that it still feels like a crowded club.

The activity at Terminal 5 was the perfect setting for college band Vampire Weekend. Their youth soared and the stage was tight enough to display their unity without taking anything away from their sheer musical talents. They even had room for a miniature orchestra.

Fast forward two years later. The band celebrated their second album Contra with another tour. This time, at larger and fancier venues. Radio City Music Hall gave them a sense of elevated success with three shows in one week. Sadly, the setting was too large for them.

The fans were slightly subdued sitting down in the comfortable chairs. There was a smattering of empty seats and the stage was too big for Vampire Weekend's presence. They played almost stationary and covered Bruce Springsteen's I'm Going Down which prompted booing from the crowd. Perhaps this is what happens when kids try to grow up too fast?

Vampire Weekend has a long way to go before they are ready to play in the real world. Hopefully, they learned a few things during their Fall semester abroad. In the mean time, why rush?

Terminal 5
610 West 56th Street
New York, NY 10019

Radio City Music Hall
1260 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020

Vampire Weekend

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