Vampire Weekend / All Points West / July 31, 2009
Liberty State Park; Jersey City, NJ
Vampire Weekend's buoyant rhythms and effervescent melodies are arguably best suited for sunshine days and warm summer breezes. But the torrential downpour that consumed the All Points West festival grounds when the band took the stage Friday afternoon not only made things a bit soggy for the poncho-wearing masses, ominous thunderclaps were threatening to end the band's set before it got started.
But in the end, Mother Nature decided to cut the Ivy League quartet some slack. Raindrops the size of golf balls pelted the stage for most of the group's set, but dampness did nothing to quell frontman Ezra Koening's charisma, as he led VW through 50 minutes of bubbly tunes from their debut album. His enthusiasm was mirrored by fans who danced madly in the mud and sang along to vibrant hits like "M79," new song "White Sky," and the weather-appropriate "A-Punk" ("Look outside at the raincoats coming, say oh!").
The sun began to peek from behind the clouds as the reached its finale, and by the time the band rounded home with "Oxford Comma" and "Walcott," it almost felt like summer again. When all was done, Vampire Weekend proved they might be the perfect band for any festival forecast.