“I like the nerdy one on the right!” I shouted to my friend Deborah, as I struggled to see past the crowd to the stage, avoiding the beer bottles rolling around our feet at the Vampire Weekend show last night at the Marquee Theater in Tempe, Arizona.
“You know which one I like!” she shouted back, and I did. The keyboard guy, for sure.
(Here’s a picture I took — but you can’t see anything, so I’ll include another better image of the band.)
I then had a sudden flashback to the last concert Deborah and I saw together — The Wiggles, 2003 (or so), Gammage Auditorium in Tempe — and a similar debate over the cutest member of the male foursome.
Now that’s pathetic.
(For the record, I recall that we both liked Anthony, the Wiggle in the blue shirt, til we saw his fake tan on stage.)
That Vampire Weekend concert is the kind of event I didn’t think twice about in my carefree youth, but which now requires planning and scheming akin to a military maneuver. Despite the fact that our music editor at New Times later labeled it a kiddie concert (he saw a couple kids there) this was definitely an adult event, if only for the f-bombs VP drops in song after song. My kids stayed home. (Hence the maneuvering, changing of schedules, hiring of babysitters, cajoling of sad-faced girls, all for less than 4 hours out of the house at regularly unscheduled time.)
It was worth it.
Vampire Weekend is an overnight sensation, a college band with a fabulous first album (sort of Paul Simon/Elvis Costello/indie-pop-rock-with quirky lyrics and strong, odd melodies — you see why I never made it as a music critic) and as it turns out, an odd group of followers.
Deborah, our pal Michele and I fell for Vampire Weekend when the album came out last spring (these guys are such cool nerds, they met at Columbia in New York, where Michele and I went; Deborah spent years in the city) and when tickets went on sale, I grabbed three.
The band was wonderful — joking that someday Phoenix and Tucson (our musical rival, Tucson always wins) would merge into Phucson, playing their entire album as well as some promising new songs, and belting it all out really well, despite the way-too-strong bass that literally shook our chests (that’s something that never happened in my 20s and 30s!).
I was worried I’d be the oldest person at the show. I wasn’t, not by a long shot, nor was I the geekiest, most out of placed or the worst dressed.
But if I don’t get out more often, I fear just that description is in my future. And the Wiggles don’t count.