Center Stage: From London to LA, The Vaccines list 3 of their favorite venues
Courtesy of Red Light Management
The Vaccines pride themselves on their relentless touring schedule. To wit, here’s a sample of the London rockers’ itinerary in just the past four months: Spain, Hong Kong, India, Mexico and of course, back home in England. And they’ll add Country No. 6 to that short span when they swing through Austin for South by Southwest, making a stop to headline Day 2 of The StubHub Music Experience on March 18 at Clive Bar.
So, yeah, The Vaccines have crushed “If You Wanna” in a gin joint or two. On four continents. No big deal.
We caught up with lead singer and guitarist Justin Young (above, far left), who gave us three of his favorite places to play.
Forest Hills Stadium (Queens, N.Y.)
This old tennis stadium hosted the U.S. Open for more than 60 years before being repurposed as a concert venue in 2013. The first booking? The Vaccines – they opened for Mumford & Sons, an evening which didn’t go without some logistical hiccups. “It was amazing,” recalls Young. “If you looked one way, you had this Colosseum-esque concrete that’s kind of dilapidated. And then behind you, you had these really overly pruned, posh tennis lawns.” The place was fully renovated last year, and in 2015 will host Santana and The Who, among others.
The Troubadour (West Hollywood, Calif.)
This famous nightclub is dripping with history, and Young can rattle off the roll call of rock stars who gave breakthrough performances inside the tiny place: Elton John, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Carol King, Harry Nilsson – just to name a few. Naturally, Young says performing there is a big deal. He first marveled at it on his maiden trip to Los Angeles when he was 19. He returned six years later as a performer. “It felt like a real rite of passage on the other side of the world,” he recalls.
Alexandra Palace (London)
A classic old Victorian entertainment venue that dates back to the 19th century (it stakes a claim as being the birthplace of “high-definition television service” in 1936), The Vaccines performed at the “Ally Pally” in September of 2012, at the tail end of three solid years of touring that established them as one of Britain’s biggest rock acts. Around 10,000 turned out to see their homecoming and Young recalls the atmosphere as electric. It’s still, he says, “My favorite show we’ve ever done.”