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last night's gig

Vampire Weekend Staves Off Obsolescence Playing Debut Disc

When they were young: Monday at the Virgin Megastore.Photo: RD / Eckstein / Retna

If you know anything about this band, it's that they've had “blog buzz” — or, perhaps more to the point, buzz about their blog buzz — for ages now. Their first full-length album, however, only came out yesterday, and last night's show, the first of two sold-out Bowery Ballroom gigs, was, perhaps, their last and best chance to prove that they can transcend the virtual confines of the interweb before they're sucked back down into the inevitable backlash. How did these four former Columbia students and their Afro-tinged indie pop fare? Not bad! They delivered their bouncy, concise songs pretty much just as they sound on disc, to the point that the set felt a bit flat (not that the pogo-happy audience seemed to mind). Throwing himself into the band's catchiest songs, front man Ezra Koenig did summon the kind of charisma that a live show calls for. The new material they played, meanwhile, gave an oblique nod to their not-so-live roots — it was more of the same, but with drum machines. —Julia Simon