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The National

9 Aug


Random Brain Dump from The National at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium

-Totally missed the openers, Daughter, because of the looming, ominous hail-rain that swept across the Cities, perhaps as some sort of pathetic fallacy for The National‘s music.
-The Roy gets a fairly deserved rap as the worst-sounding room in town, bu stage left, under the speaker stacks, the sound was really gorgeous and full. If you were up in the rafters, it probably sucked, but then again, you decided to take a seat in the rafters versus getting down on the floor – which, despite being ostensibly sold out, was not packed in the slightest.
-The opening four tracks, “I Should Live In Salt,” “Don’t Swallow The Cap,” “Bloodbuzz, Ohio” and “Secret Meeting” were strong enough to kick off the show – maybe more muted than past gigs, but Trouble Will Find Me is a more muted record – but “Sea of Love” and “Demons” really bottomed out. Maybe they lost their nerve looking out into the spotty balcony, or something, but there was a definite flatline. Two tunes from High Violet and the rough, screaming “Squalor Victoria” seemed to right the ship, though.
-Nona Marie Invie from Dark Dark Dark, who guested on the record, made a hometown appearance for “Don’t Swallow The Cap” and “This Is the Last Time,” which was a lovely gesture.

The National – This Is The Last Time from CakeIn15 on Vimeo.

-Matt Berninger’s got a mean roar on him. Most of the time that baritone comes off fairly smoothly, if a little rumbly, but for “Squalor Victoria” and “Abel” he let loose with a full-throated, lionesque wail.
-Berninger’s also got some mean stage neuroses on him. At one point during “Squalor Victoria” he angrily yelled about “fucking up” in drummer Bryam Devendorf’s direction (the band charged straight ahead, regardless) and during “England” he nonchalantly flipped his wine glass back, smashing it and adding some extra heft to the lines about “desperate to entertain.”
-The brothers Dessner can play wicked guitar. That is all.
-The National toured with a horn and trombone, which is a something that I’ve always wished The Hold Steady would do, and makes any band that aims for big, literate, raucous songs sound infinitely better.
-After Metric doing it at Rock The Garden and having seen bands like Beirut and the Avett Brothers do it in the past, the full-band-up-front acoustic closer might be my favorite way to end a show, especially one that got big and brash and loud during the run. “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks” gave everyone a chance to shout together and turned a cavern like the Roy into a little club for a brief minute.

The National – Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks [SNIPPET] from CakeIn15 on Vimeo.

I Should Live In Salt
Don’t Swallow The Cap
Bloodbuzz, Ohio
Secret Meeting
Sea Of Love
Afraid Of Everything
Conversation 16
Squalor Victoria
I Need My Girl
This Is The Last Time
Slow Show
Pink Rabbits
About Today
Fake Empire

Mr. November
Terrible Love
Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks

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