This Sunday I got to see Vampire Weekend at the Orpheum. I really, really, really like Vampire Weekend, and I don't think I could stress that enough. I like their slight African style and it makes me think of Paul Simon (who I aslo really like) when I hear them. I am incredibly happy that I got to see them live and the show ranks up there as far as my favorite shows (NIN still wins out though). But that's not why I'm writing this post because hell I'm no music critic, nor am I good at stressing why I like things or what they compare to. What I am good at is observing and commenting on life. In other words, I'm a life critic. So here goes.
To start I got to go to the show with Daniel, my former room mate from Belgium, who was the first person to turn me on to Vampire Weekend (something I can not thank you enough for Daniel). Anyway I'm very excited and it appears Daniel is as well, and it is fucking freezing out, I mean nose fall off your face cold.
We show up to the Orpheum and there are scalpers outside selling tickets, which is funny to me because these guys are 40 and probably have no idea what kind of show is going on inside. I comment to Daniel that they probably think its a Vampire show springing from the love of Twilight and True Blood.
Side Note: I work at Borders (details of which will come, I promise) and we have the trailer of Twilight running up at the registers all day. Really predictable storyline is all I will say.
After seeing the scalpers and talking about them we proceed inside. First order of business: buy a beer. Well last time we were at the Orpheum Daniel had the gaul to bring his Texas issued drivers license, acceptable at most drinking establishments as a form of ID, but apparently not the Orpheum. This time he came prepared, he brought his US passport accepted by every country on the planet as proof that he is who he says he is. Here is how I recollect the transaction going down.
Beer Gremlin: "Not so fast Mr. Slomka! Do you have a back up?"
Our Hero: "For my Federally Issued ID, accepted by all as the be all end all form of identification?"
Beer Gremlin: "I must have a backup!"
Our Hero: "I've gotten into Europe on an expired visa with this thing and you won't give me a fucking beer?"
Beer Gremlin: "I must have my precious second ID!"
Our Hero: "Do you think I faked a passport, which is a federal crime, to get a beer as opposed to getting a fake MA ID which would probably get me in far less trouble?"
Beer Gremlin: "Give me the ID!"
Our Hero produces his Texas ID and receives his Miller Lite.
Beer Gremlin: "That will be $9."
Our Hero: "First you call me a liar and now you rob me?"
With that dialogue (which may or may not be completely truthful) over with (I mean really $9 Miller Lite?) we move to our seats. Our seats which turn out to be in the last row of the balcony (not a bad seat though). We get to our seats just in time for the opener Black Kids (who really were not too bad, I recommend them if you like Vampire Weekend) Daniel and I decide to stand because sitting is not an option (legs won't fit) and we are in the last row so we can stand on our seats and lean against the back wall (that is why the seats were not too bad).
Well about 5 minutes later these two humongous guys (football players at one point, clearly) and their girlfriends (dressed a bit too nice in my opinion) waltz in, they proceed to dance in place and make out for the rest of the current song. That and one of the girls insists that Daniel and I chug our $9 Miller Lites which I respond with a "Not happening honey" to which she does that frowny face that girls do when they want you to do something, a face that they think makes them look cute, I choose to tell her instead that I paid $9 for a shitty beer that will not be chugged, she then turns around and makes out with her boyfriend the Ogre.
As the song goes "One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong" these 4 did not belong here. If you didn't already know most Indie kids and people who like Indie bands look like Daniel and myself; skinny, with tight jeans, tight shirts and we don't work out much. These people were far from that. The guys clearly spent more time in a gym than most other places, had the classic preppy jock attire of Khakis and a button up and had the normal stupid smirk on their face. The girls were dressed like they should be at a club with dresses and lots of jewelry. Let it be known that they were not your normal Vampire Weekend fans by any stretch of the imagination.
Well Black Kids finishes up a song and is talking to the crowd a bit about the next song and at this moment Ogre 1 & 2 decide to heckle the band shouting "We want Vampire!" "Give me Dracula!" "I want vampire Blood" "Play some Dave!". Everyone in our section is cracking up, I mean who heckles the opener? Who pays attention enough to heckle the opener? They keep doing this for a few songs, as well as one of the girls keeps telling Daniel and I to keep drinking and to stop texting our girlfriends. She then proceeds to call me a pussy for not taking shots before the show (I was at work and yeah I hate shots). Then the boys left to do something (maybe give some poor indie kid a swirly) and at this point the girl who is not giving me shit (she has moved on to the guys next to us) tells me that they actually have no idea who Vampire Weekend is (shocker!) and bought their tickets for $5 each (saddening because I paid $15) because they thought it would be cool. To which I replied
"You do realize Vampire Weekend has nothing to do with Vampires right?"
Not as drunk girl: "Oh, no I didn't"
Me: "They are an Indie band from Columbia University in NY"
Drunk Girl: "So daddy paid for their college?"
Me: "No, I think they might just be that smart to get in there"
Drunk Girl: "So daddy paid for your college?"
Unfortunately Papa Doyle will not be covering the whole tab and I currently have three jobs, which I tell the drunk girl.
At which point the Ogres come back and join the conversation.
Not as drunk girl: "So who are they like?"
As I said earlier, I'm not good at comparing bands or critiquing them, not to mention these poor souls won't know anyone I mention so I say a few bands (Ra Ra Riot, Tokyo Police Club) names that I know come up in the What.cd artist web and then hope they will just think I'm stupid and then stop asking me questions. No, no they don't stop.
Not as drunk girl: "Can you name some more mainstream bands?"
Ogre #2: "Yeah like OAR?"
Ok let's stop it there for a second. Combined with the Dave comment earlier, this question if Vampire Weekend is like OAR just rubbed me the wrong way. I have no problem with OAR, they sound good, I just don't care for them Same with Dave, just not my cup of tea. The thing is, everyone likes Dave and OAR, if you aren't big into music you like Dave and OAR, all jocks like them, all preppy kids, everyone. And on top of that their fans love to insist that their shows are the best on Earth and "How can you not like them?! They are ssssooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good!"
You know why I don't like them? Because you people insist that I should and act like these mediocre bands (yeah I said it) are amazing and everyone should like them. I don't want to bash your music taste, whatever makes you happy fine, but please don't insult my choice of a concert in a couple thousand seat concert hall, which you were able to scalp tickets for for $5 by asking me if they are anything like OAR a band that sells out 15k seat venues all over the country. No sir, I think my taste is a little more defined than Dave and OAR (on second read that sounds really bad. Let me clarify: I don't think Vampire Weekend is better than other bands nor do I think I'm better because I like them what I am trying to say is I try to find what I like in the music world and don't just settle on something that is easy to listen to. I pick a band because they get me going, put a smile on my face and make me want to move around, not just give me something to talk about when the subject of music comes around).
Well after that they left, ironically because of the Orpheum Gestapo and their drinking policy which wouldn't let them get their $9 Miller Lites. After their departure all of us in the section started laughing about them and talking about how happy we were to be at the show.
As for the show. Great show. Vampire Weekend is a bunch of goofy geeks up on stage who haven't gotten over the fact that people actually like their music yet. The venue was great (a little hot though) all the fans new every word and were belting them out, the place was rocking (literally, Daniel and I were a bit worried) which I would like to say I have never experienced.
In other words, I had a great time listening to a great band. I highly recommend them, check out their myspace, buy the album (or steal it) just give it a listen. No they don't sound like Dave or OAR, no they don't dress like vampires (dress more like college professors) and no you don't have to like them. But if you do, great. Learn the lyrics and next time they come by your city go to a show and sing along.