Vampire Weekend are good at their jobs. Last weekend, the band came back from a six-year absence with the lush, expansive new album Father Of The Bride, one of those rare albums that’s fun to listen to and fun to argue about. And now that their machinery has rumbled back to life, Vampire Weekend are back on the promo tour. Last night, they served as musical guests on The Tonight Show — their first televised performance in five years. And as it turns out, they are still excellent at playing their songs while they’ve got TV cameras pointed at them.
The Vampire Weekend that played last night’s Tonight Show was, of course, a whole lot different from the five-years-ago edition. Rostam Batmanglij is no longer on board, and now Vampire Weekend have a massive touring band with a bunch of extra musicians. But Ezra Koenig remains one of the most charismatic, expressive rock frontmen that this century has produced, and his arched-eyebrow panache has not dimmed one tiny bit in all those years away.
On last night’s show, the band played the ruminative Father Of The Bride single “This Life.” Danielle Haim sang on a few Father Of The Bride songs, and she and her sisters and HAIM bandmates stood in as backup singers. (They also recently joined Vampire Weekend at the band’s seven-hour New York show.) The Haim sisters did choreographed dance steps and seem delighted to be there, and the song sounds pretty glorious live. And as an online bonus, Vampire Weekend also played the Father Of The Bride closer “Jerusalem, New York, Berlin.” That song is a Danielle Haim duet, so she sang lead with Koenig, and the band really drew out the quiet groove. Both performances are total must-see events, and you can watch them both below.
Father Of The Bride is out 5/3 on Spring Snow/Columbia. Read our Cover Story feature on Vampire Weekend here. Also, Amy Poehler was a guest on last night’s Tonight Show, so let’s all have fun imagining her reuniting with her Parks & Recreation costar Rashida Jones, Koenig’s partner, in the green room.
In other Parks & Rec-adjacent Vampire Weekend news, Ezra Koenig and his Time Crisis co-host Jake Longstreth are the guests on the latest episode of Adam Scott and Scott Aukerman’s widely beloved podcast R. U. Talkin’ R.E.M. RE: ME? You can listen to that here: