[Photos courtesy of Pete Matthews for Feast of Music]
The National are closing out a massive two years of recording and near-constant touring in style here in New York, with a run of sold-out shows at the Beacon Theatre that have featured many of our favorite bands (The War on Drugs, on this night) as openers. Not many years ago, I could not have conceived of a band that makes moody, melodramatic indie rock of their particular variety selling out large NYC venues like the Beacon and Terminal 5; look what else is playing in those spots these days, and it ain’t much like The National.
Indeed, with their style of music – which feels intimate and personal by definition – it has to be a challenge to play a somewhat impersonal big venue, even one as gorgeous as the Beacon. Singer Matt Berninger made a number of self-deprecating references to that during the show – mocking his awkward stage banter, and the band’s lack of “sexy” songs – but all joking aside, he and his bandmates proved every bit that they belonged on that stage. The band also debuted two new songs, “Rylan” (streaming below) and “I Need My Girl”, which we hope will appear on their next record (whenever that is).
But the show’s true story was the encore. While encores many can feel perfunctory, The National turned theirs into a true highlight, upping the intensity and even sending Berninger crowdsurfing through the first several rows at the Beacon during “Terrible Love”. The band closed out the show with an unamplified “Venderlyle Crybaby Geeks” with the members of War on Drugs – a unique way to end night one of what should be one of the most compelling runs for them yet.
I recorded this set with DPA 4021 microphones in a mobile configuration. Recording in a boomy theater without a mic stand is a bit tricky, and there is some analog hiss in quiet parts due to having to boost the levels significantly, but overall I am pleased with this. Enjoy!
Download the MP3 and FLAC files and stream the entire show at the Live Music Archive [HERE]
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New York, NY USA
Recorded by acidjack
DPA 4021 (FOB, DFC)>Denecke PS/2>Sony PCM-M10 (24/44.1)>24bit/44.1kHz WAV>Audacity (set fades, EQ, amplify and balance, downsample to 16bit)>FLAC ( level 8 )
02 Anyone’s Ghost
03 Mistaken For Strangers
04 Secret Meeting
05 Bloodbuzz Ohio
06 Slow Show
07 Squalor Victoria
08 Afraid of Everyone
09 Conversation 16
14 Cardinal Song
17 Lucky You
19 Fake Empire
20 [encore break]
21 I Need My Girl
22 Mr. November
23 Terrible Love
25 Venderlyle Crybaby Geeks [unamplified]