The Return Of Vampire Weekend, The Band Of The Internet Era

Deputy Music Editor
06.20.18

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Forming in 2006, Vampire Weekend are exactly the same age as Twitter. Other internet phenomena, such as the widespread use of Facebook, Snapchat, Hipster Runoff, memes, gifs, and Instagram filters have all fit snuggly within the band’s reign, placing their music squarely as the soundtrack to this particular era of internet as a culture, when we all learned how to express ourselves in 140 characters and six second video clips. With wi-fi accessible devices in our pockets, on our planes, and generally impacting every aspect of our daily lives, maybe no other band has felt both a product of the era and in tune with it, without directly writing songs about wi-fi passwords and hotspots. Vampire Weekend, over the course of three untouchable albums, have crafted timeless music made specifically for these times.

Over the weekend, the Ivy-league bred group performed their first proper concerts in four years at Libbey Park in the secluded artist community town of Ojai, California, and it didn’t long for the presence of the web to be felt. Just outside the venue, in proper bootleg merch fashion, was a single t-shirt salesperson offering up @Seinfeld2000 tie-dyed short-sleeves, reading “8 Minute Cape Cod.” Just below the handmade sign announcing the shirt’s price points was the clarification that the person selling the shirts was, in fact, not @Seinfeld2000, the writer of a brilliant parody account that encapsulates a “weird Twitter” aesthetic that has not gone out of style. @Seinfeld2000 even had a gig writing a column for Noisey for a few years, with their first article being an interview with VW leader Ezra Koenig. Likewise, @Seinfeld2000 has made multiple appearances on Ezra’s Beats 1 show Time Crisis.

It didn’t take long for news of the t-shirts to spread on social media, with people who couldn’t be in attendance begging those that were to buy them a shirt. For a show that was billed as a weekend — a second performance at the Libbey Bowl was scheduled for Sunday morning to celebrate Father’s Day, and tickets were sold for the performances individually and as weekend passes — this was only the first indication that the show was going to be a capital-E Event. There was the celebrity attendees factor — including the likes of Jonah Hill, Jason Segel, and Mark Ronson — and the booking of Richard Pictures as the opener, a band that Koenig described as the best Grateful Dead cover band in Southern California. There was the charitable aspect, with money from merch and matched donations being made to the local community that had just dealt with devastating fires. And there was the fact that the shows sold out in literally one minute, with eager diehards enthusiastic at the possibility of hearing new Vampy Weeks tunes for the first time.

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