In August, Vampire Weekend taped an hour-long set for Austin City Limits, and it’s premiering in full this Saturday, November 9th. On Thursday, the band shared an exclusive video from the set with Rolling Stone, featuring their performance of “Harmony Hall” from their latest album, Father of the Bride.
What’s great about an Austin City Limits clip like this is that it highlights every person on the stage (there are seven of them) and shows just what each of them contributes to such an elaborately arranged song. We get plenty of close-up shots of Ezra Koenig singing about pretenders, but we also get (what feels like) every bongo hit, every guitar solo and every flourishing piano melody. It may not be the same experience as seeing Vampire Weekend live, but it shows off their craft more than anything.
Koenig recently spoke to Rolling Stone about the band’s new seven-piece lineup: “It became very clear to me halfway through making this album that there was no way that four people could perform it. It’s one thing to play a song like ‘Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa’ and be like, ‘All right, we’re not gonna have hand drums on it’ — that’s a small sacrifice to make. But it’s another thing to look at a song like ‘Harmony Hall’ and be like, ‘We would have to just play along to a track, or we’d have to leave out half the song.'”
After performing a 30-song, three-hour set at Madison Square Garden that was live-streamed in September, Vampire Weekend announced a new set of 2020 tour dates. The tour will kick off May 29th at the Maine Savings Pavilion in Westbrook, Maine, and will run 19 dates before wrapping October 7th in Birmingham, Alabama.