Photo Credit: Bill Kelly

Yesterday, April 8, Vampire Weekend touched down in Austin, Texas for its first full show since 2022. This special appearance at Moody Amphitheater was set to align with the historic solar eclipse from squarely within the path of totality, treating audiences to the first live presentation of the band’s new phase under a striking celestial event. As this show also served as the departure point for the Only God Was Above Us Tour and a 40th birthday celebration for frontman Ezra Koenig, more surprises were in store, including special guest appearances, live debuts, bust-outs and a fresh new medley of covers.

Following a fitting walk-on track of Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” Vampire Weekend kicked off its long-awaited return with a live debut of “Ice Cream Piano,” the introductory track from the band’s fifth studio album Only God Was Above Us, which released on Friday, April 5. After the shimmering, baroque preview single “Classical,” which the band debuted during its SiriusXMU takeover on April 6, VW revived the fan-favorite “Unbelievers” from 2013’s Modern Vampires of the City, beginning its careful balancing act of timeless classics against coveted new releases. 

“Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,” “Holiday” and “White Sky” continued this cycle through the hits before the live debuts of “Connect” and later the anthemic “Gen-X Cops,” surrounded by further cuts from Contra and Father of the Bride. For the penultimate entry in the first set, the group revived its 2010 single “Jonathan Low,” marking at once the song’s first staging in five years and its tenth-ever live performance. Finally, after the thematically appropriate “Flower Moon,” Vampire Weekend took a break so all in attendance could direct their attention to the eclipse as it reached totality.

Vampire Weekend convened again with the live debut of “Hope,” which marked the final Only God Was Above Us selection of the performance. Rather than following the pace of the first set, the second frame embraced a more eclectic and improvisatory format, beginning with a surprise appearance by Phoenix frontman Thomas Mars, who led a rendition of his original “Tonight.” After the cover’s close, Mars and Chromeo’s Dave 1 joined the band in singing “Happy Birthday” to Koenig in French, collectively celebrating the longtime indie innovator and his two decades of shaping the alternative vanguard. The band kept on with a cover of Chromeo’s “Needy Girl,” with support from Dave 1, followed by a treatment of “Harmony Hall” with former VW touring guitarist Brian Robert Jones.

The band entered the last act of its historic show by spotlighting its early catalog through renditions of “A-Punk” and “Oxford Comma.” Next, the group opted to “have some fun” with a previously unheard medley of covers termed “Cocaine Cowboys,” composed of the original “Married in a Gold Rush,” Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers Band’s “All the Gold in California”  Gram Parsons’ “Sin City” and the Grateful Dead’s “Cumberland Blues,” bookended by a twist on Phish’s “Possum” fitted to the lyrics of “Gold Rush.” Watch a fan-recorded video of this wholehearted embrace of the jam scene and its history here. With a thrilling show-closer of “Walcott,” the band hit the road again, leaving a thoroughly wowed crowd in its wake.

Vampire Weekend will return to the stage on April 27 for a headline performance at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival; the group will remain on the road with its OGWAU Tour through mid-October. For more information on this run and the band’s continued album promotion endeavors, visit

Read on for the complete setlist from Vampire Weekend’s special eclipse performance.

Vampire Weekend
Moody Amphitheater – Austin, Texas

Set I: Ice Cream Piano*, Classical, Unbelievers, Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa, Holiday, White Sky, Connect*, Sunflower, Capricorn, This Life, Gen-X Cops*, Diane Young, Cousins, Jonathan Low+, Flower Moon!
Set II: Hope*, Tonight%, Happy Birthday#, Needy Girl$, Harmony Hall~, Oxford Comma, A-Punk, Married in a Gold Rush1 > All the Gold in California2 > Sin City3 > Cumberland Blues4 > Possum5, Walcott

* Live debut
+ Bust out, last performed on November 26, 2019
! Followed by a break to watch the eclipse at totality
% Phoenix cover, w/ Thomas Mars
# Sung to Ezra Koenig in French, with Thomas Mars & Dave 1
$ Chromeo cover, w/ Dave 1
~ w/ Brian Robert Jones
12345 “Cocaine Cowboys” mashup

  • “Possum” lyrics changed to “Gold Rush”

Setlist via