Kristen Wiig's return to the "Saturday Night Live" stage may have stolen a bit of the band's thunder, but Vampire Weekend came out swinging last night (May 11) on the newest episode of "SNL"
Fresh off the release of "Modern Vampires of the City," the four-piece's third album, the New York indie rockers descended upon 30 Rock to provide two choice cuts off the new record, beginning with lead single "Diane Young." The frenetically paced tune featured the familiar surf-guitar runs and feverish drumming coupled with frontman Ezra Koenig's pitch-shifting vocal, along with a dapper-dressed bari sax player to fill in the blanks.
Vampire Weekend followed up its current hit with another potential crowd pleaser, "Unbelievers." The new album's second song, "Unbelievers" found Koenig on acoustic guitar and propped up by lively keys and a driving rhythm section. The band was joined by a four-piece section of brass and woodwinds to create an almost Celtic feel on the song's bridge. The tune was initially performed in a similar setting on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" last Halloween, though skeleton makeup was understandably not a part of the equation this time around.
It wasn't the first time for the indie rockers on the "SNL" stage. The group famously appeared on the show in early 2008, a time during which hype and buzz for the band was nearly inescapable, especially following the release of its self-titled debut album. An appearance in 2010 behind sophomore release "Contra" followed.
But while Vampire Weekend has captured a fair amount of acclaim because of its well-received "Modern Vampires," the night was Wiig's.
The "Bridesmaids" star and "SNL" alum, who left the show after its 2011-2012 season finale, broke out some of her most beloved characters in a span of an hour and a half, but not before a song-and-dance monologue during which the actress made up new lyrics to The Pointer Sisters' "I'm So Excited" describing how she could still remember who everyone was on the show and where everything was located, even if that wasn't exactly the case. Hey, any excuse to bring back Maya Rudolph and a random Jonah Hill should be fine by all.
Throughout the evening, Wiig also revisited her role of Karina on the faux TV soap "The Californians," as well as the baby-armed, bubble-popping Judy and the nosy Target Lady. And of course, no Wiig return would be complete without an appearance by Weekend Update singing duo Garth and Kat, who are still totally not making up each song as they go. Nope, not at all.
Next week, "Saturday Night Live" wraps up its 38th season with Ben Affleck as host. Kanye West, whose upcoming album has been shrouded in relative secrecy save for a few leaks through the cracks, will perhaps shed a little more light on his new material -- he'll be the musical guest on May 18.