Plenty of indie rock bands cultivate a nerdy look. But few take it as far as the guys in Vampire Weekend. With their button-down Oxford shirts (the ones that have buttons for the collars) and crisp blue jeans, these guys have a preppy look that’s just not rock ’n’ roll in any way. Even their perky indie pop is an anomaly as the band pulls African rhythms into the mix. Perhaps that’s why the New York act’s return to the stage after essentially disappearing for the last two years was met with such anticipation.
Playing last night at the House of Blues before a sold out crowd, the band picked up right where it left off when it took a break in 2010 after the release of Contra. After opening with “Cousins,” the band dipped into its world beat influenced “Cape Cod Kwassa” and then had the audience singing along to the catchy “Holiday.” The jittery melodies of “M79” and “I Stand Corrected,” which the band turned into a bit of a jam, had everyone in the crowd jumping in unison. Slowing things down for the reggae-tinged “Diplomat’s Son,” which lacked the nuances of the studio recording, wasn’t a smart move. The song's trippy conclusion and strobe light finale was more off-putting than mesmerizing. But that was the 90-minute concert’s only lull. The band picked up the tempo again with the snotty break-up tune “Campus,” which had the audience clapping along to the melody. And the group wisely chose to conclude the 20-song show with the jubilant “Walcott.”