What began as a rainy day left nothing but the lovely scent of damp pine as Vampire Weekend and Beach House were greeted back to Vancouver for the first of two flawless sunny nights at Malkin Bowl. The Dum Dum Girls stoically swaggered through their cover of the Rolling Stones “Play With Fire.” These beer-swilling girls embody bona fide rock. Their slick, reverb-soaked pop cut through the early crowd of teenagers.
As Beach House took the stage, the hipsters moved in temporarily taking over the gaggles of teens. Through a heavy veil of bangs, singer Victoria Legrand enraptured the audience with “Used to Be.” After their third song she teased the happy but mellow crowd for looking very relaxed, before breaking into “Norway.” Flashing double peace signs and robot arms throughout, Legrand finally warmed them up, proving her virtuosity as a front woman. The highlight of the night was “Zebra,” when the last of the summer sunshine mixed with the pulsating yellow stage lights, creating a perfectly wistful atmosphere.
In their first night back on tour after a three-week rest, Vampire Weekend started with a few numbers from their newest album Contra before riling the crowd up into a full sing-along with “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa.” While they sounded clean and catchy from the get go, it wasn’t until half way through the show that they pushed passed their studio sound and got a real dance party going. During “Cousins,” even the drunk frat bros and sorority sisters took a break from taking Facebook pictures long enough to acknowledge the music emanating from the stage. I’ve rarely seen a happier bassist than Chris Baio who unabashedly danced and grinned his way through the entire set. The band debuted “I Think Ur A Contra” live for the first time, beautifully encompassing the amphitheatre with what sounded like a whale song before plunging it into total darkness. Closing with a raucous encore of “Walcott,” complete with Jerry Lee Lewis piano stylings, a happy crowd was turned loose into Stanley Park.