Vampire Weekend lack bite at Glasgow Hydro

DREAM SUPPORT: Noah and the Whale
DREAM SUPPORT: Noah and the Whale

Glasgow’s new Hydro venue holds 12,000 people in its enormous innards, creating a colloseum-like atmosphere when full of excited fans.

Unfortunately it seems that the city is home to less than half as many people willing to shell out for a ticket to see New Yorkers Vampire Weekend at their recent gig.

Black drapes are used to hide the completely vacant upper tiers of seating, but nothing can be done to disguise the half-empty floor - producing a somewhat stilted atmosphere for support band Noah and the Whale as they take to the stage.

But any trepidation felt by the English folk-rockers is swiftly put to one side.

Showcasing the lost art of the perfect set list, Charlie Fink and co dispense with any awkward new material or experimental b-sides to deliver a 45-minute set of solid hits.

Dipping liberally into their debut album ‘Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down’ and their breakthrough third record ‘Last Night on Earth’, even a malfunctioning violin doesn’t put the band off their stride.

It’s noticeable that throughout the set those less familiar with the band are drawn toward the stage by Fink’s Tom Petty-a-like vocals and his band’s multi-hooked melodies.

It’s a hard act to live up to for Vampire Weekend and one they look like matching for half an hour.

A stunning stage set of ornate columns, bright floral banners and a huge mirror is lit up by a dazzling light show for opener ‘Diane Young’.

Fan favourites ‘White Sky’ and ‘Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa’ follow, their African-infused beats filling up the gaps in the auditorium.

Frontman Ezra Koenig is as cool as expected, dishing out Glasgow-related banter from behind rock star shades.

But despite being only three albums into their career there’s a sense that the 90 minute set has needed some padding out.

For every highlight there’s a two-song lull, leaving the audience at best quiet and at worst disinterested.

New album ‘Modern Vampires of the City’ only supplies a third of the tracks on offer, but their greater length compared to the older, snappier material makes it feel like far more.

By the time they nail a storming encore of Hannah Hunt, One and Walcott, there’s as many bored yawns as excited yelps from the sparse Hydro crowd.