TVD Live Shots: Bloc Party, The Vaccines,
and Oscar at Echostage, 5/19

If Morrissey and Pulp had a millennial child, it would be Oscar—his songs are thoughtful, cheeky, and bright. The single-named “gangsta melancholic,” Oscar opened with a short and sweet set featuring “Daffodil Days,” “Beautiful Words,” and “Sometimes” off his debut album Cut and Paste. (I got to chat with him after his set. Turns out he’d seen Bloc Party when he was 16 at Brixton Academy. And now he’s opening for them.)

But first, The Vaccines! This is a band that I really wish I’d known better before seeing them live. Lead singer Justin Young exploded on stage, rocking the entire emotional spectrum in his face and body. It was an extremely engaging set and certainly helped to wake up a crowd wary of partying too hard on a Thursday night. My favorites were “Dream Lover,” “Post Break-Up Sex,” and “If You Wanna.”

Bloc Party eased into their set with the subdued and hypnotic “Only He Can Heal Me” off their latest album Hymns. Then they launched into “Hunting For Witches,” which set the crowd ablaze. This is the band’s first US tour since welcoming new members Justin Harris on bass and keyboards and Louise Bartle on drums.

“Wherever you come from, Thursday is the new Friday,” singer Kele Okereke announced. He dedicated “Different Drugs” to the audience member smoking weed and the crowd loved it.

The push and pull of new tracks played alongside crowd favorites made for an interesting night. Okereke sounded incredible, his voice so strong and inviting that despite some of the new songs being less overt and dance-y, the crowd’s interest never waned.

“Helicopter” and “This Modern Love” rounded out the evening, punctuated by bursts of light and confetti. And then it really was Friday.

OSCAR

THE VACCINES

BLOC PARTY

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