I have had the great good fortune to see a group called The National three times in the past 14 months and I want to share them with anyone who might stumble across this blog. There is a good, quick review of the band and its history on Wikipedia, so I will not give you all that stuff here. All I want to say here is that The National are the first group to have caught my attention in the way REM did in 1984 since…REM did in 1984. They are smart, insightful, melodic, soulful, and LOUD.
I saw The National last night at the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo and they blew me away. My wife and I were right up front and the proximity allowed us to see what we could only intuit from our earlier shows: the band has a lot of fun onstage and really seem to get along well and understand each other. Our clothes were vibrating in the blast from the woofers and still every word of their impressionistic lyrics was clear.
The other times we saw them were at the House of Blues next to Fenway Park in Boston. Both shows were amazing and I was a little nervous about how their often dark and atmospheric music would translate to an outdoor, blue sky, bright sun kind-of-day. Their first song showed me I was crazy to have any trepidation at all. I’d say they blew the roof off, but there was no roof.
Here are a couple of pictures:
And here is a live (in the studio) version of their song called Runaway