The National


Fun Fun Fun Fest Live Shots
Photo by John Anderson

The National

Waterloo Park, Nov. 8

Repeatedly disclosed as the band's final show before a long recording hiatus, the National has never appeared as loose and unbridled as it did Saturday night. Their notoriously dark and angst-rattled aesthetic still propelled the headlining set as frontman Matt Berninger bathed in the blue light and cradled the mic like his hope, but he flung himself around the stage in relentlessly broken catharsis and clearly had fun doing so. The flourish of added horns on songs like opener "Brainy" and "Baby, We'll Be Fine" bolstered the driving surge of guitars and anthemic swell of "Squalor Victoria," while multi-instrumentalist Padma Newsome bowed furious on violin. Though rushed to beat the curfew cutoff, the Brooklyn band hit high points from last year's Boxer and 2005 breakout Alligator, especially "Secret Meeting" and an addled "Abel." The brooding pulse of "Start a War" and "Fake Empire" throbbed direly into the evening, the latter best exploiting the new brass swell in a scathing call to arms, but crowd favorite "Mr. November" closed the night on a defiant and triumphant note.

More The National
Phases & Stages
The National
Trouble Will Find Me (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, July 5, 2013

ACL Live Shots
The National

Dan Oko, Oct. 15, 2010

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
My Jerusalem
A Little Death (Record Review)

Jim Caligiuri, July 15, 2016

Texas Platters
The Echocentrics
Echo Hotel (Record Review)

Thomas Fawcett, June 24, 2016

More by Doug Freeman
Texas Platters
Jack Ingram
Midnight Motel (Record Review)

July 15, 2016

Texas Platters
Aaron Einhouse
It Ain't Pretty (Record Review)

June 24, 2016


The National

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)