Vampire Weekend Returns With New Lineup, New Songs, Covers & More

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Vampire Weekend held a pair of concerts this weekend, marking their first official full performances since 2014. Saturday and Sunday’s shows at the Libbey Bowl in Ojai, California featured a new lineup, new songs, new covers, special guests and more.

Saturday’s set saw frontman/guitarist Ezra Koenig and fellow co-founding members, bassist Chris Baio and drummer Chris Tomson joined by newly named touring members, guitarist Brian Robert Jones of Human Natural and keyboardist/guitarist Greta Morgan of Springtime Carnivore (plus an additional percussionist). Following a pair of under-the-radar warmup sets at Largo in Los Angeles, the first proper Vampire Weekend concert in four years got underway with Koenig leading a complete rendering of their 2008 self-titled debut album. The band, which was appearing without former co-founding member Rostam Batmanglij who left the group in 2016, played the Vampire Weekend track “Bryn” for the first time since 2011 and the record’s closing track “The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance” for the first time since 2012.

Opening night also featured covers of Gerry Rafferty’s “Right Down the Line,” the band’s live debut of Koenig and SBTRKT’s “New Dorp. New York” and iLoveMakonnen joining in on a his Koenig collaboration “Down 4 So Long” and “Tuesday” with Despot also onstage. The first night’s encore included the live debut of “Worship You” from the band’s most recent record, 2013’s Modern Vampires of the City.

“Sunday Morning” by The Velvet Underground was the first of several covers woven into Sunday’s performance. Among the other covers selected for the second show were Dusty Springfield’s “Son Of A Preacher Man,” Baio’s “Sister Of Pearl” and Labi Siffre’s “I Got The…” Despot once again joined the band on the remix arrangement of the Modern Vampires track “Step,” while the encore saw the emergence of violinist Amandla Stenberg for a collaborative “I Think Ur a Contra” from 2010’s Contra.

Koenig previewed a new song, “Flower Moon,” (which he revealed was co-written with Steve Lacy of The Internet) during Sunday’s concert that also featured the Vampire Weekend bonus track “Boston (Ladies of Cambridge),” which wasn’t played on Saturday. As noted by Pitchfork, Vampire Weekend has been active in supporting The 805 UndocuFund “a collective effort among Ventura and Santa Barbara County-based grassroots organizations to assist local undocumented immigrant individuals and families who have been economically impacted by the Thomas Fire and the mudslides in its aftermath and are excluded from many relief programs such as FEMA assistance and Disaster Unemployment Assistance.”

Watch audience-shot video highlights from the weekend below:

[The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance | Captured by Ang O]

[New Dorp. New York | Captured by Ang O]

[Worship You | Captured by Ang O]

[Sunday Morning / Obvious Bicycle / Son of a Preacher Man | Captured by timothymcintyre]

[Boston (Ladies Of Cambridge) | Captured by Austin Moss-Ennis]

[I Think Ur A Contra | Captured by ameeps]

Setlist

Vampire Weekend at Libbey Bowl

Vampire Weekend
  • Mansard Roof
  • Oxford Comma
  • A-Punk
  • Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa
  • M79
  • Campus
  • Bryn  
  • One (Blake's Got a New Face)
  • I Stand Corrected
  • Walcott
  • The Kids Don't Stand a Chance  
  • White Sky
  • Step
  • Right Down the Line  
  • New Dorp. New York  
  • Hannah Hunt
  • Down 4 So Long / Tuesday  
  • Diane Young
Encore
  • Ottoman
  • Worship You  
  • Ya Hey

Setlist

Vampire Weekend at Libbey Bowl

  • Sunday Morning  
  • Obvious Bicycle
  • Son of a Preacher Man  
  • Unbelievers
  • Holiday
  • Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa
  • Here Comes the Sun  
  • Boston (Ladies of Cambridge)
  • Cousins
  • Horchata
  • Sister of Pearl  
  • White Sky
  • Don't Lie
  • Flower Moon  
  • Step  
  • Giant
  • Run
  • A-Punk
  • A-Punk  
  • Everlasting Arms
  • I Got The...  
  • Mansard Roof
Encore
  • I Think Ur a Contra  
  • Walcott

Tour Dates for
Vampire Weekend