Longitude day two: Local Natives, Villagers, Vampire Weekend
Local Natives delivered a superb set, after an instrumental dig out from Villagers who also gave them a run for their money in the show stakes, while Vampire Weekend had the double-edged sword of the headline spot
O’Brien takes a chance and strips it back during the substantial set for some new music. At the end of the gig, he apologies for “the boring bit in the middle”, but that’s probably harsh – Memoir is particularly fine, especially the bluesy piano jam that gets the song out.
The show’s highlight is the slow burn brilliance of The Waves, which builds to an immense finish, O’Brien finally ripping off his sunglasses to rock out. It’s a sublime musical moment in a superb set that further burnishes Villagers’ world-class status. LM
As the evening drew in, and the temperatures finally faded, it was a straight-up choice for headlines between the polished rock pop of Vampire Weekend, and the club heavy beats of Paul Kalkbrenner. If you like your tracks more banging and Berghain than precise and pop, it was the latter on the cards.
Live, Kalkbrenner sounds like something of a purist, spare techno lines and melodies undercut by a thumping bass line that, at least at the front of the Heineken Live Project tent, was enough to rattle your lungs. As black and red rev counters flicked on screen, Kalkbrenner set about his business like a professional – not for him the big drops, stops and starts of EDM; instead, he constructs the music track by track to a very satisfying, and very loud, complementary whole.
This was a top-drawer set of classy club music that ran like a well-oiled machine – and he sourced a replica Tshirt of Ireland’s football jersey from the 1988 European Championships. Now how is that for respecting your audience? LM
The headliners on Saturday had a lot to live up to following Phoenix’s sublime set the previous night. Could Vampire Weekend fill those shoes?
Kinda. There’s nothing wrong with Vampire Weekend’s bright and jangly guitar tales of preppy life and love. Ezra Koenig’s thin voice cuts through the evening air with an enthusiasm and verve that is perfectly listenable.
Giving Up The Gun, A-Punk and Horchata are great, prompting plenty of dancing and cheery reactions from the audience. But unfortunately Vampire Weekend don’t have the beefiness to truly carry off a headline slot. There’s little intensity or anthemic resonance with their gleaming tracks, now three albums deep.
Oxford Comma prompts another happily nodding singalong and, as they finish with Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa, the feeling of satisfaction after the set is also one of anticipation for Sunday’s line-up, which is arguably the best of the lot. UM