Reporting Shannon Carlin
Vampire Weekend’s Amex Unstaged concert last night (April 28) was a mix of old favorites and new songs from the indie-rockers’ upcoming third album, Modern Vampires Of The City. Most fans online (the Steve Buscemi-directed show streamed via Vevo and YouTube) and as well as those physically inhabiting New York’s Roseland Ballroom heard the new songs for the very first time.
It is a rarity in this day and age that fans had not heard the album, considering its May 14th release date is a mere two weeks away. Even the band joked about the fact that the album hasn’t actually leaked yet.
“We’re excited for you to hear it,” frontman Ezra Koenig said. “And surprised you haven’t yet.”
The record’s first single, “Diane Young,” shows off Koenig’s best Elvis impression and live, becomes even more of sock-hop favorite. Its B-side “Step,” is a gentle ode to a dude who just won’t stop hitting on another guy’s girl, while brand new song “Obvious Bicycle” is a percussion-driven mid-tempo jam that shows off Koenig and Rostam Batmanglij’s harmonies together. Watch below.
On the track, which they performed for the first time live last night, Koenig sings a lilting verse to a teenage crush talking about high school gym sleepovers and late night talks. Batmanglij, who admitted this one was of his favorite Vampire Weekend songs, plays the song out with a little ragtime-style piano break.
The guys also played “Ya Hey,” which they premiered at SXSW, the sweet album closer “Young Lion,” and “Everlasting Arms,” which keeps to their tried and true Afro-pop sound. Over a bouncy beat Koenig croons, “Oh I was born to live without you/But I’m never gonna understand.”