They were re-energized. The day before, when we met with the group, they seemed already dead after a long afternoon comprising of thirteen interviews. The same day, one felt that they sometimes questioned what they had embarked upon. It was the end of their European promo tour. They wanted to go home. When offered drinks they wanted nothing but water and redbull.
They should have known that we wouldn’t let them get away with playing only five songs, as they had originally planned. We wouldn’t settle for a 20-minute set, with people sitting quietly around Ezra. They ended up staying. When they had finished, Vampire Weekend were left exhausted, but smiling.
It must be noted that they were persuaded to stay by a foreign audience – a gaggle of children (those of our host and his neighbours), and by a roomful of twenty and thirtysomethings, who jumped, danced and shouted, and, in doing so, seemed to mentally disturb the children somewhat.
The evening was exactly as we had dreamed it. A perfectly wonderful mess of musical excitement, overflowing into everyone and everything. Songs came from nowhere, Ezra ran yelling and clapping into the middle of the delighted crowd and Chris began drumming away on his guitar case. Ten minutes later, they headed back to the corner for a further two (calmer) songs.
Vampire Weekend’s live performance is notably different to that of their album. Horchata, without its inflated production, swelled with great new feeling that we hadn’t heard until now. The four vampires were today, thankfully, nothing like the shells we had met yesterday. They were rejuvenated. They were brilliant.