Vampire Weekend's Coachella set was full of fever dream-like surprises - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
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So, Vampire Weekend was at Coachella’s first weekend. They played their classic hits like “A-Punk” and “Holiday,” but also blues and country tunes. Most surprising: Paris Hilton and a less-than-stellar Abe Lincoln impersonator were there playing cornhole for gold bars. Yeah, you read that right. 

The band who defined mid-2000s indie rock didn’t seem to be sure what they were doing onstage this weekend. “One week ago today, we didn’t know we were going to be here, and you didn’t know we were going to be here,” said Ezra Koenig, lead vocalist and guitarist. “I was sitting at home in Weimar, Texas, sipping Ranch Waters and looking at wildflowers…”

The first part of Saturday’s set was exactly what you’d expect: songs like “Classical” from their newest album Only God Was Above Us, as well as hits like “Gen-X Cops” and “Cousins.” 

Then things shifted into what felt like a fever dream. The final part of the set was titled “Cocaine Cowboys,” a 15-minute mashup of five songs: “Married in a Gold Rush” (Vampire Weekend), “All the Gold In California” (Gatlin Brothers Band), “Sin City” (Flying Burrito Brothers), “Cumberland Blues” (Grateful Dead), and “Possum” (Phish). “Cocaine Cowboys” was also featured at Vampire Weekend’s Eclipse show in Austin last week. 

Somewhere towards the end of “Cocaine Cowboys,” a cornhole board was set up stage right, and Paris Hilton arrived in a black cowboy hat and high-low skirt. “I haven’t played this game since The Simple Life,” Hilton said, and then proceeded to miss the target completely, finally walking up to the board and dropping the beanbag in. Then, a guy in a top hat, beard, and suit introduced as former President Abraham Lincoln stepped up to the cornhole board and barely landed on the board. 

But Koening took pity on his audience and released the gold-wrapped candy bars. “Take a look at them,” he said. “You might see President Lincoln’s face on the back of your bar.”

There only seems to be one video of the set’s finale, filmed by a fan, below. Check it out or watch Vampire Weekend perform their hits on Coachella’s YouTube.

Paris Hilton joins Vampire Weekend for cornhole at the Coachella Music Festival - April 13, 2024
Vampire Weekend - Cousins - Live at Coachella 2024
Setlist
Apr
13
Vampire Weekend at Coachella
  • Classical
  • Holiday
  • Unbelievers
  • This Life
  • Gen-X Cops
  • Diane Young
  • Cousins
  • A-Punk
  • Cocaine Cowboys Mashup: medley of "Married in a Gold Rush" Vampire Weekend, "All the Gold in California" (Gatlin Brothers Band), "Sin City" (Flying Burrito Brothers), "New Cumberland Blues" (Grateful Dead), and "Possum" (Phish)
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