The National are one of the most underrated bands of the year, an awesome mix of woozy rock and spectacularly pointed and universal lyrics that knock your breath out and make you smile.
It's the rousing, 'Slow Show', a song that slowly seeps into your brain and melts all your worries away like mellow whisky, that really gets the crowd warmed up as they then launch themselves into the triumphant 'Squalor Victoria'. It's a sign of a great band when the crowd begin to clap along and unprovoked sing alongs break out infront of the stage, something which the band appear grateful for; there's no bravado about The National, they simply appear as genuine guys who write universally affecting songs.
As the tour is in support of the band's current album 'Boxer', the majority of the tracks from the new offering make their way into the set, from the slow musings of, 'Ada' to the emphatic opener, 'Start A War'. There's plenty of applause for tracks from the band's early albums 'Secret Meeting' is another stand out from 'Alligator' that gets the crowd whooping, while the chaotic 'Abel' is engages adeptly. The truly epic track for the evening is 'Mr November' which sees Berninger giving his all during the chorus and the crowd sharing the unrestrained emotion.
Two very welcome encores see support act St Vincent take to the stage to join in with 'Green Gloves', as well as the climax of 'Fake Empire', with even Matt Berninger looks on in awe as the world's biggest glitter ball situated at the venue starts spinning and the crowd are as much dazzled by the moving nature of the song as the sparkling illumination, a crazed moment of violin and guitar rocking out ensues - a truly rare concoction! The National effortlessly make a deep connection with the audience, which dispenses with the need for pyrotechnics or lengthy introductions and has you spellbound for the entire set.
The National are epic for their ability to make you look inside yourself and like what you see for all its quirks.