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Vampire Weekend and The Head and the Heart play the Paramount again at 7:30 p.m. Thursday night.
Vampire Weekend, with Head and the Heart

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The Head and the Heart Stunned The Paramount Last Night; Vampire Weekend Actually Showed Up

para1.jpg
Vampire Weekend and The Head and the Heart play the Paramount again at 7:30 p.m. Thursday night.
Vampire Weekend, with Head and the Heart

The Paramount

Wednesday, September 22

Head and the Heart

First things first, local opener The Head and the Heart killed it last night. It was the biggest gig of their short careers, but they showed not a hint of intimidation. Set closer "Rivers and Roads"--a foot-stomping, hand-bruising hugfest--felt like an occasion. You don't have to fully subscribe to their sound--a delicate mix of chamber pop and proper rock--to acknowledge that they cleared a hurdle last night. Very few opening sets are as effective as this one. It's almost worth going back Thursday just to see if they can bring it two nights in a row.

Vampire Weekend

After a less-than-gracious, last-second cancellation at Marymoor last month, Vampire Weekend re-scheduled a pair of shows at the Paramount on the quick, and drew a half-full room in the first night on Wednesday. Frontman Ezra Koenig explained to the crowed that the Marymoor cancellation was one of Vampire Weekend's "worst days as a band," and that "literally, my voice had totally disappeared." He continued to apologize throughout the set. (He never did explain why it took 90 minutes after the last opener at Marymoor for VW to cancel the set. That's a lot of Ricola.)

Vampire Weekend exists in a strange segment of today's pop music paradigm, one dominated--according to a friend who accompanied me to the show--of 15- and 30-year-old women who want to be 22. Yes, Vampire Weekend make music for teenie boppers in the indie set. And last night, they were as polished and plastic as it gets.

Four dudes walked onto the stage to attack the opener, "Holiday," a track that set the tone for a night of spot-on renditions of cuts from the band's albums, the 2008 self-titled debut, and this year's Contra. To replicate the myriad sounds of the band's signature co-opting of Afro pop, the quartet piped in more than a few outside noisemakers. There were times during the show when there were more pre-recorded sounds coming from the stage than there were live notes.

Not that that was of any concern to to the fawning crowd, a rather thin, yet ravenous crew that was more interested in dancing and singing along to songs like "One (Blake's Got A New Face)," than worrying about where the extra guitar lines and drum beats were coming from. It's hard to argue with that.

Reporter's Notebook:

Personal Bias: I love Paul Simon's Graceland

BTW: The house music before Vampire Weekend included Boys II Men's "Motownphilly" followed up with The Grateful Dead's "Dire Wolf."

 
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