It’s a little weird reviewing a rock concert for Q13 FOX News.
I mean, we’re not an alt-weekly rag like the Stranger. We’re not a music review website like Pitchfork. We don’t wear hip glasses, drink triple-shot dry cappaccios and know the lastest band signed to Sub Pop. We’re a local broadcast television news network that typically has little to do with rock. We report stabbings, blood, Boeing meetings and the like. Some of our anchors haven’t graced a rock concert in years (cough David Rose cough).
Yet we were thankfully given a couple of tickets to the annual Deck the Hall Ball, hosted by that radio station that Real World made famous, 107.7 the End. And rather than cower away from weed and ironic shirt-filled Key Arena like a bunch of TV nerds, us broadcast folk decided to jump at the chance. And we’re glad we did.
But rather than bore you with pages of airy, prosaic fluff writing that you’re sure to find outmatched at every other website, We thought we’d give you pictures, and just a few thoughts on the headliners, Phoenix and Vampire Weekend. So here you go –
Oh, before we get started: Everyone should check out Instagram for more photos of last night’s madness. Just type in the #dthb for your fill of blurry crowd shots, pretty rocker girls, annoyed parents and everything a rock concert should entail.
Thoughts on Phoenix and Vampire Weekend from freelancer Josh Diamond:
A blast of frantic, yet sugary sweet pop music from Paris, France, Phoenix took the edge off a chilly December evening in Seattle and initiated a big indie dance-fest. Topping 107.7 FM’s annual Deck the Hall Ball holiday festival along with Vampire Weekend, Phoenix brought a positive and sweeping energy to the largely adoring audience at KeyArena. The band (and its sometimes dual drumming attack) began their set in a somewhat odd fashion, with lead singer Thomas Mars cutting off 2/3 of his band shortly into their first song before continuing on with “Countdown (Sick for the Big Sun)” with just his vocals and a guitar. Then, the full band powered through their hour-long plus set with seemingly genuine charisma and smiles on their faces. Mars handled the crowd deftly and with pleasure, spending a fair portion of the show amidst the floor crowd near to the stage. Phoenix played a number of songs off their latest album, “Bankrupt!,” as well as huge hits such as “Lisztomania” and “1918,” and kept the crowd bouncing with their sprawling and infectious electro-rock jams.
Vampire Weekend: The festival headliner, Vampire Weekend from the northeastern U.S. ended the 1-2 punch-along with Phoenix- of literate and witty, yet arena-ready pop bands, with a spirited and breezy set of tunes. Led by laid-back front man Ezra Koenig and sounding very tight and professional, Vampire Weekend romped through their three albums of material, drawing from “Vampire Weekend,” “Contra,” and their latest, the highly regarded “Modern Vampires of the City.” Beginning with the punchy and slightly warped track “Diane Young” from “Modern Vampires…” Vampire Weekend kept their focus strongly on playing smart and catchy, ‘African pop’-inflected songs with little to no frills otherwise. Vampire Weekend is one of the few bands to consistently receive very positive attention from the mainstream and independent music press over the course of their career. Playing crowd favorites such as “Oxford Comma” “California English,” and closer “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,” as well as new cuts like “Step” and “Unbelievers,” the boys played like the maturing, fun and crisp band that they are. And into the cold night concertgoers went…