telling minor stories to avoid a major one

Seriously Serious Concert No. 6: Vampire Weekend, 4/24/09 (updated) by Barbecue Bros
April 26, 2009, 4:48 pm
Filed under: Concert review | Tags: , , , ,

[Updated to add video of “Walcott”]

So imagine my surprise on Friday morning while checking the usual music-related sites and blogs to find out that Vampire Weekend was playing a one-off charity show an hour from Charlotte later that day. AND ITS FREE. Talk about a no-brainer.

So the four of us hopped in Kenny’s still-slightly gasoline smelling car (6 months and counting, thanks Susong) a few hours later and head down I-85 towards Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC to get there in plenty of time before the 7pm show start. Now, based on our experience at Davidson College earlier this month, we figured there would be no way alcohol would factor a ton into the night (besides the small flask of Sweet Tea vodka we were planning to sneak in). After finally finding the intramural field and presenting our printed tickets, we are asked by the staff if we would be drinking. Wait, what? We had the flask, so I didn’t know if this was a trap question. But we come to find out that we can actually bring beer into the show. Second no-brainer of the night: where was the nearest gas station?

It turns out its down a hill less than a half a mile down the road. Susong and I head out and 15 minutes later bring two 12-packs of bottled beer to the front gate. Call it our over excitement or just plain not thinking, but we come to find out that we can’t bring bottles into the venue. Duh, we should have realized this. Already starting to feel the heat from walking uphill once, we trudge back down the hill and exchange our bottles for cans. Probably the worst beer run I’ve personally been on, but we got back in time before the concert started so I got over it after about 5 minutes.

Once I got over the sweating, I realized that we were in the middle of a smallish-sized field, and there wasn’t really anyone there.

No seriously, there was barely anyone there.

As it turns out, Wofford College won the second annual ONE Campus Challenge to raise awareness of global poverty, beating out larger schools such as Michigan and USC, and that was the reason for this one-off charity concert. The band came on a few minutes later and everyone bum rushed the stage, so we followed suit. We found ourselves about ten feet from the stage, Rostam-side. Ratna can barely contain herself as the band takes their instruments.

The band played a short set consisting of basically their entire album plus two new songs they are working on for their upcoming album due later this year – the first one “White Sky” debuted on Jimmy Fallon last month (albeit a different version than what they play live) and sounded great with I believe a little synth or drum machine thrown in. Lead singer Ezra Koenig even warned the crowd that he was probably going to dance a little during the song (one of the few he didn’t play guitar on). The second one (didn’t catch the name) was good but not as awesome as the first. So far it sounds like the upcoming album is gonna sound great.

The encore-less set lasted around an hour – maybe a little less – but was a lot of fun. Big ups to Wofford College for winning the contest to get the band to play a free one-off show (they aren’t currently touring) on a beautiful, fun night.

The rest of my photos from the show can be seen here.

Next up: Kings of Leon and The Walkmen this Thursday, unless of course The National play a random one-off show at Queens College in the next four days


4 Comments so far
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Damn you guys.

Comment by Avent

I don’t think Ratna really liked it though…

Comment by Kenny

Yea I couldn’t tell. She seemed so indifferent.

Comment by Tommy

[…] 4/9 – Death Cab for Cutie/Cold War Kids – Davidson College, Davidson, NC 4/24 – Vampire Weekend – Wofford College, Spartanburg, SC 4/30 – Kings of Leon/The Walkmen – Bojangles […]

Pingback by Lists! 2009: Top 5 Concerts and all of my music purchases « telling minor stories to avoid a major one

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