In support of the release of their new album Father of the Bride, Vampire Weekend is hot on the performance circuit. They recently appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live to perform “Sunflower” from the new album, and also delivered a stunning cover of Bob Dylan’s “Jokerman.” This isn’t the first time Vampire Weekend have performed the Dylan classic. The band performed the song on GQ Live in Los Angeles back in December, though this current performance is far more nuanced.
Compared to the folk song feel of the original, Vampire Weekend chooses an upbeat tone with their cover, channeling a bit of Paul Simon’s “Graceland” in the process. Warm harmonies, Bruce Hornsby-esque acoustic piano, conga and shakers, and Ezra Koenig’s easy speech-singing style culminate in a highly likeable nearly nine minutes of music. The band treats themselves and their audience to some fun improv, with spacey synth and an all out cacophony of sound before pulling back to a very simple and easy finish.
We’re highlighting several Bob Dylan covers to celebrate the icon’s 78th birthday this Friday. Check out J.S Ondara’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” yesterday), and stay tuned for more covers throughout the week.