Coming into this weekend’s edition of the Pitchfork Music Festival, I openly questioned whether Vampire Weekend were headline material. Sure, their modern spin on world pop has its mass appeal, as it did for artists like Paul Simon and back in the day. But could they really engage a crowd of 20,000?
The answer Sunday night was a rousing yes. Should you scan the crowd during songs like “Cape Code Kwassa Kwassa,” or “Oxford Comma,” from their debut album, you would witness the grounds being transformed into one large undulating mass of the masses shaking their asses. We’re talking 90-95% dance penetration in many sections of the grounds. Even numbers like “Holiday” or “Run,” from their second album, Contra, had a DPP (dance penetration percent) in the 80s.
To these people it hardly mattered that the band looked preppy in their polos and oxfords. It hardly mattered that they may or may not have a right to play all of those African rhythms. Good times mattered and many, many, many people had a perfect cap to their festival weekend.