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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
by Garon Cockrell
Concert Review: Vampire Weekend Live from Outer Harbor, Buffalo, NY by PF Wilson
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July 3, 2014 12:01 a.m.

Vampire Weekend

June 9, 2014, Outer Harbor, Buffalo, NY

When a band you want to see won’t come to you, you must go them. So we shuffled off to Buffalo to see Vampire Weekend, and along the way took in some of the sites of the region. New York State’s second largest city has certainly lived the hard knock life over the past few decades and you can sense a general malaise throughout the community. It’s an odd feeling too, because there was plenty to see, do, and eat. The Elmwood Village neighborhood, for example, offered a great mix of shops and eateries.

Of course we probably wouldn’t have gone there had Vampire Weekend not decided to do a concert in an area of Buffalo known as the Outer Harbor. Think of it as a post-apocalyptic Sawyer Point, a barren stretch of land nestled between the Buffalo Ship Channel and Lake Erie. While the venue was sparse on amenities, conditions could not have been more favorable with a beautiful sunset over the lake to the west, a nice view of downtown to the east, and Vampire Weekend center-stage.

A completely unscientific and anecdotal assessment of the crowd indicated that many folks, like us, came from out of town to see the show. This despite the sponsorship of the local commercial alternative radio station Alternative Buffalo 107.7, a more adventurous version of our Project 100.7/106.3.



As the smell of Cheerios and Lucky Charms wafted over the Outer Harbor from the nearby General Mills plant, Cults opened the show with an 11 song set. Well-received by the crowd, they didn’t do anything to get the crowd too worked up for the headliner. The two singles from their self-titled debut album, “Abducted” and “Go Outside,” got the best response. Songs from their current album, Static, seemed to do better with those more familiar with the band, and there were quite a few of those folks.



Vampire Weekend wasted no time with their set, blasting off with one of 2013’s best tracks “Diane Young.” Opening with a massive tune like that can throw an audience, but Vampire Weekend were able to make it work. While the band is probably used to playing before bigger crowds, they were no still enthusiastic and appreciative. Lead singer Ezra Koenig noted it was their first trip to Buffalo since 2007.



Favorite album tracks such as “Step,” “California English,” and “Everlasting Arms,” were treated with equal levels of excitement by the crows as the “hits” including “A-Punk,” “Unbelievers,” and “Holiday.” I don’t know about you, but the latter will always be a Christmas song to me, thanks to the band’s decision to license the track to Honda Motors back in 2010.



After winding down with “Obvious Bicycle,” the band returned for a two song encore featuring “Hannah Hunt” and “Walcott,” which Koenig described as their “good-bye” song. Always leave them wanting more is the old show business adage, and Vampire Weekend adhered to that, leaving the rollicking “Worship You” off the set list. That minor blemish aside, it was a nearly flawless concert on the shores of Lake Erie.- PF Wilson

  








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