Vampire Weekend comes out on Halloween night



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The only things missing from Vampire Weekend’s secret show on Halloween night were vampires – I spotted only one in the crowd that decked itself out weirdly and wonderfully Saturday night. But that would have been too obvious, right?

The NYC quartet continued its strange California tour – included are small venues, VFW halls and city park band shells (they gigged Sunday afternoon at Hollenbeck Park in Boyle Heights) – with a show at the former site of Madame Wong’s, a legendary punk-rock and new-wave venue in Chinatown that hosted the likes of the Police, the Ramones, the Go-Go’s, Oingo Boingo, the Motels and the Plimsouls during its lifespan from 1978 to ’85.

Maybe the band is trying to create some mythology beyond its storyline as Ivy Leaguers who nicked “Graceland” to become indie-pop sensations, but whatever its intent, the foursome sounded crisp and energetic during an hour-plus set in the small, festive room. The free-Colt 45-fueled crowd ate it up, along with a little taste of “Contra,” the new Vampire Weekend album due next year. Between the good humor and the dude who was dressed as half-man, half-woman, it was hard not to bounce around.