After releasing one of last year’s finest albums, Vampire Weekend currently find themselves on a victory lap arena tour, headlining some of the summer's biggest festivals. The band’s third album, Modern Vampires of the City, went on to win a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album, and found a top spot on countless year-end lists, continuing a nearly flawless three-album streak.
The excitement for the indie rockers return to Chicago was at a fever pitch Thursday night at the UIC Pavilion as Rostam Batmanglij, drummer Chris Thomson, and bassist Chris Baio strolled out on the stage while frontman Ezra Koenig slowly stepped to the mic bathed in several stark spotlights. Opening the night with their most recent album’s most popular songs, “Diane Young,” they faced throngs of screaming, sign-waving fans requesting everything from a selfie to a guitar pick.
Transitioning seamlessly into “White Sky,” from 2009’s Contra, Chris Baio bounced across the stage, leaping in unison with Rostam and Ezra’s conjoined harmonies as they continued unbroken, backwards through their catalogue to their self-titled debut with “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa.”
Presenting three-quarters of Modern Vampires, the band did an excellent job incorporating the rest of their beloved catalogue, playing favorites from their self-titled debut, “A-Punk,” “Campus,” and “Oxford Comma,” as well as Contra’s “Horchata” and “Cousins."
Vampire Weekend's tour continues through the summer with marquee stops at Governor's Ball and Bonnaroo this month, and a pair of gigs at the U.K.'s Reading & Leeds Festivals in August.