Mon 1 Jul 2019

Vampire Weekend at Glastonbury 2019


Vampire Weekend were a summer sensation on the Pyramid Stage this year. 

Glastonbury is a bucket list festival for the majority of bands and a bucket list gig for most music lovers. Everyone wants to play at the UK’s biggest festival and everyone wants to be there. This year Glastonbury is back, showcasing its usual array of talent and some of the biggest global artists including The Killers, Stormzy, The Cure, Kylie, Janet Jackson and many more.

Coming over from New York, Vampire Weekend were ones to watch, playing The Pyramid Stage (Glastonbury’s main stage) on Sunday Afternoon and, although I wasn’t lucky enough to be at the festival, I was eager to catch their set being streamed on BBC iPlayer. The set was aired a couple of hours after the performance and was cut down showing just the best bits, making sure as many artists as possible can be shown to everyone who would rather watch the festival in the comfort of their own home- rather than in a muddy and sweaty field. Watch their set here.

The band were introduced on screen by Gemma Cairney before the cameras panned to the stage and they began with “Sympathy,” spreading a summer infused atmosphere across the field. The rhythm focused track is more stripped back, opting for intricate picking of the guitar giving a classical mediteranian-style vibe. The track is layered with synth lines which sound like an echoing chant and topped with a dynamic vocal, with instrumental moments running through the song.

This was the second set the band have played at the festival, having opened the second day of the weekend with a secret set at the Park Stage and the band still had no issues bringing a large crowd around one of the biggest festival stages in the country.

The set continued the summer mood with a surf infused track, “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,” this song reminds me of something you’d hear while on the beach in Hawaii (I’ve never been but that’s what I imagine) but with modern influences, particularly in the vocal which is more central in this track than some of the bands others.

During the screening, the camera jumps to clips of the crowd, there is a clear happiness in the atmosphere and the carefree attitude within the audience, who are singing and dancing in the sun- I think everyone who watches just wishes they were there.

The band played their fan favourite tracks, “This Life,” another song perfect for the summer song and possibly their best known song “A-Punk,” but this wasn’t shown on the stream as it had been cut to make the set shorter but I can only imagine how the show exploded during the track.

Vampire Weekend closed their set with a slower track, calming down the gig with “Jerusalem, New York, Berlin.” This song uses piano to create a warm relaxed feeling and is fronted by a heartfelt, gentle vocal.

Vampire Weekend will be back in the UK later this year for a six-date tour in November, with sold out shows in Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham and London to support their upcoming album, “Father of The Bride.” Be sure to check out the last tickets available here for their second London Alexandra Palace show!  Be sure to check out tickets here!