Even as he's shooting down his chosen social sect, singer-guitarist Ezra Koenig comes across as the epitome of "educated cool."
Vampire WeekendCity: Philadelphia, PA
Venue: First Unitarian Church
Despite Vampire Weekend’s preppy affectations -- they are Ivy League-educated and sing songs about Cape Cod -- there are no khakis in tonight’s crowd. No polo shirts. No lilacs or lavenders or Ralph Lauren. Onstage, it’s a slightly different story: drummer Chris Tomson wears a neat button-down shirt, while bass player Chris Baio dons a turquoise cardigan. Only keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij eschews the educational edict, playing in a grunge-era plaid shirt. It doesn’t really matter, though; all eyes are focused on singer-guitarist Ezra Koenig.
Dressed in a button-down that's neatly tucked into his jeans, Koenig, with his clean-shaven good looks and tousled hair, bears a passing resemblance to Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys. And, like the Sheffield-based singer, Koenig’s songs (while not as lyrically insightful on a sociological level) are also composed of short, sharp snippets of life. He exudes a preppy attitude in the same way that Turner exudes a working-class edict; both singers shoot down their chosen social sects in their own demure lyrical fashion. It’s as if they’re both exploiting the lifestyles, rather than embracing them. Koenig comes across as the epitome of “educated cool,” yet, as he himself says, “Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?”