If you’ve never heard of the Vaccines, stop reading and go listen to “Wetsuit,” or better yet, watch the music video too. Okay, now come back to this article. Ready to read all about the awesome Vaccines concert you missed last week?
With their critically acclaimed debut album, What Did You Expect From the Vaccines?, these Londoners answered their own question: a resurgence of guitar-driven indie rock. Think the Ramones and the Strokes. Back again with their follow-up album, Come of Age, the Vaccines have obviously grown as a band, a fact that they were eager to prove during the first concert of their first U.S. tour at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston, on Jan. 29.
But first, you know that feeling of disappointment when the opening band is either terrible or doesn’t fit with the main act’s musical style? I still recoil with pain remembering the screaming woman who opened for Beirut at the House of Blues last August. I was thoroughly surprised and impressed when Australian band San Cisco took the stage before the main event. Made up of Hawaiian-shirted guys and a female drummer, their up-tempo tracks were punctuated by synthesizers and dueling voices. Despite having to keep a horde of Vaccines fans interested while they waited for the main event, they played an excellent hour-long set, sounding like a cross between Surfer Blood and Vampire Weekend. For evidence, check out “Beach” or the Zooey Deschanel-levels of quirkiness found in “Fred Astaire.”
Once the main act finally took the stage, the excitement among the crowds of college students was palpable. And the band didn’t disappoint. Starting off with the lead track from Come of Age, a self-deprecating take on being “young and bored and twenty-four,” called “No Hope,” they played a mix of hits from their first and second albums. Bright spots included “Aftershave Ocean,” a song so pleasant-sounding you might forget it’s about a cheating boyfriend, and “Post Break-Up Sex,” which is about exactly what it sounds like. After over an hour of lead singer Justin Young attempting to make himself heard over the all-encompassing guitar, bass and drums, the Vaccines left the stage. Three songs, concluding with the only-slightly pedophilic “Nørgaard,” played out the show in a well-deserved encore.
Some left the show with drumsticks, guitar picks or copies of the set-list. I left with a renewed desire to make the most out of this last semester at Wheaton, specifically by not missing out on the next great performances. With that in mind it’s time to look forward to the shows coming up that will leave us wanting more; the following will all be at the Paradise Rock Club, 967 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston.
On Friday Feb. 15, Toro y Moi will be headlining a show with Wild Belle and Dog Bite. If you’ve heard his newest album, Anything in Return, you won’t need convincing to fork over $20.
The following Tuesday, Feb. 19, drown your despair at never being able to afford decent Beyoncé tickets and catch her younger and more indie sister, Solange. Just try listening to the lead single off her 2012 EP True, “Losing You,” without immediately considering changing your Knowles allegiances.
If you’re truly dedicated, you’ll want to stay at Wheaton for the first part of spring break in order to catch Django Django on Monday, March 11. Touring in support of their 2012 self-titled debut album, featuring psychedelic electronica like “Default” and “Waveforms,” Django Django will have you wondering why everyone else is talking about Django Unchained.