Posts Tagged ‘ the national ’

The National: December 12, 2011 Beacon Theatre – FLAC and MP3 Downloads + Streaming Songs

December 15, 2011
By

[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]

Stream the entire show

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Note: All of the material on this site is offered with artist permission, free to fans, at our expense. The only thing we ask is that you download the material directly from this site, rather than re-posting the direct links or the files on other sites without our permission. This set will appear on the Live Music Archive after it has been hosted here for a couple of weeks. Please do not upload it to the LMA “for us”. Please respect our requests.  Thanks!

The National
2011-12-12
Beacon Theater
New York, NY USA

Recorded by acidjack
for ncytaper.com

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 )

Tracks
01 Runaway
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
10 Rylan
11 [banter]
12 Son
13 Available
14 Cardinal Song
15 Sorrow
16 [banter]
17 Lucky You
18 England
19 Fake Empire
20 [encore break]
21 I Need My Girl
22 Mr. November
23 Terrible Love
24 [banter]
25 Venderlyle Crybaby Geeks [unamplified]

If you enjoyed this recording, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT The National, visit their website, and purchase their official releases from The National’s Shop [HERE].

The National at Webster Hall Studio (MTV Taping) – Setlist and Review

February 9, 2011
By


[photo courtesy of Mina K]

I spoke to The National’s excellent engineer Brendan last night after their show at The Studio at Webster Hall. The band flew back recently from an Australia tour and forwarded all of their equipment to Brussels, where they will begin a tour of Europe in a few days. The band had to rent equipment for last night’s MTV taping, but the performance didn’t suffer at all. The set time of 9 p.m. was strict, as the band began only a few minutes after the hour with “Runaway”. Matt was in a playful mood, with abundant joking banter in between songs. Highlighted songs on the written setlist translated into songs contemplated for airing on MTV.com, which provided Matt with a punch line — “this next song is not highlighted, so its ok if we f* it up”. Despite persistent shouts of requests (including one fan who screamed for Ada after every song), the band stuck to the list which included much of the latest album High Violet, a few standard older choices and one semi-rare song (“Lucky You”). The National completed the set with a rousing “Terrible Love”, which featured Matt stalking through the entire audience straight to the back of the floor where he climbed the cage around a video camera and then crowd surfed until the end of the song. The set concluded at 10:20pm, and despite some calls for an encore, the house lights and music came up and the set was over.

This show will be available for viewing at MTV’s “Live In NYC” site on February 21.

We didn’t record this show, but The National have been on nyctaper plenty of times [search here] or [here].

The National
2011-02-08
The Studio at Webster Hall
New York NY
MTV Taping

Setlist
[approximate time 1:15]
01 Runaway
02 Anyone’s Ghost
03 Bloodbuzz Ohio
04 Slow Show
05 Squalor Victoria
06 Afraid of Everyone
07 Conversation 16
08 Lucky You
09 Abel
10 England
11 Fake Empire
12 Mr. November
13 Terrible Love

Our Top 25 Concert Moments of 2010 (with MP3 Download and Streaming Songs)

December 31, 2010
By

We were treated to a lot of amazing music this year, and the site has continued to grow. This year, we reached our 600th recording posted since 2007 – a pretty incredible number considering that this is only the fourth year of the site.  As a final New Year’s treat to our readers, we thought we would share a “mixtape” with you of some of our favorite concert moments of 2010.

Out of the two hundred-plus shows that we saw, we selected 25 moments that we thought were particularly memorable (among the shows we recorded, at least). There is a wide range of music, styles and artists represented: folk, rock, Scandinavian pop, punk and much more. There are new bands who are just breaking into the mainstream, as well as mainstream acts continuing to perform at a high level. The only consistent theme is that these artists all touched us in some way, giving performances that stayed with us long after the last notes were played.

The following list is in no particular order. Links to download the entire compilation, as well as selected numbers streaming, are below.

Want to keep up with the latest concert updates and recordings on the site? Follow @nyctaper and @acidjacknyc on Twitter.

Download the entire mixtape [HERE]

1. Built to Spill – “Carry The Zero” – September 20, 2010 Rocks Off Concert Cruise. This show was nuts – on a boat, with a tiny main floor, with a crowd that was loud, drunken and rowdy, and a veteran band doing what they do best. We saw Built to Spill a ton of times over the past two years, but this show was the clear standout.

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2. Oh Land – “Lean On Me” – November 8, 2010 Brooklyn Bowl. We first saw this young Danish artist play Brooklyn Bowl back in July. Although she was still getting comfortable with her new material, her talent and unique stage presence were already on display. After seeing her again at the Backyard Brunch Sessions, we caught her again a month later at Brooklyn Bowl. Her evolution blew us away – displaying newfound poise and confidence, designer clothing and a new percussionist, Nanna dominated the stage. Though many of her songs lend themselves to dancing, I have always been partial to this more precious number. She may now be the face of Missoni, but Oh Land is far, far more than a pretty face.

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3. John Vanderslice – “The Parade” – October 21, 2010 Mercury Lounge. On the night after our Unofficial CMJ Day Party at Cake Shop, we caught one of our favorite acts, the inimitable songwriter John Vanderslice at Mercury Lounge. John has always been a supporter and friend of the site, but we were especially gratified by his heartfelt intro to this song when he thanked nyctaper from the stage.

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4. The Dirty Projectors – “As I Went Out One Morning [Bob Dylan]” – September 11, 2010 Terminal 5. After this band blew us away at the tail end of 2009, we were thrilled that Johnny Fried Chicken Boy was able to catch their show at the massive Terminal 5. This Dylan cover was among many special songs played during another show that wowed us with its musical skill.

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5. Pavement – “Fight this Generation” – September 19, 2010 Williamsburg Waterfront. Pavement‘s return was probably my personal musical highlight of the year – nobody ever thought it would happen, and when it did, they were exactly as nonchalant about the whole thing as you would expect. Everything went right at their first NYC show in ten years, and the irony of Pavement – an iconic band for Generation X – playing “Fight This Generation” on the Williamsburg waterfront to an entirely new generation of fans was perfect. This loose, jammy rendition killed, too.

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6. Superchunk – “Digging For Something” – September 19, 2010 Music Hall of Williamsburg. While I was checking out Pavement, nyctaper was down the street taking in an equally amazing performance from another 90s indie darling, Superchunk. Supporting their first new album in almost a decade, Superchunk gave us even more than we could have imagined when special guest John Darnielle joined them for this number.

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7. John Roderick w/ Nada Surf – “The Commander Thinks Aloud” – March 26, 2010 Bell House. Nada Surf‘s multi-night series of full album performances had many memorable moments, but my favorite of all came from John Roderick of The Long Winters, the opening act at the Bell House/The Weight Is A Gift show. With Nada Surf as his backing band, Roderick capped off his acoustic set by tearing through a fully electric version of this big number that showcases Roderick’s unique voice. You can stream and download this song, and the entire show, on the Live Music Archive [HERE].

8. Natureboy – “I’ll Keep It With Mine” – May 15, 2010 Piano’s. This show was a special day for us, as we celebrated the third anniversary of the site with some of our favorite bands. Natureboy drew a strong crowd as our first act of that evening, and they made our night by performing, our request, their cover of this Dylan-via-Nico classic.

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9. Fucked Up – “Son the Father” – February 18, 2010 Maxwell’s. I had the pleasure of seeing Fucked Up three times this year, and each show was awe-inspiring. Damian “Pink Eyes” Abraham is a punk rock showman without parallel: on the mic, he is extremely hardcore; in between songs, he chats up the crowd like each person is his best bud. “Son the Father” is one of the band’s best songs, and it was at about this point during the Maxwell’s show that (as has to be the case at every Fucked Up show) all hell broke loose.

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10. The Black Keys – “Same Old Thing” – July 28, 2010 Terminal 5. There was a huge response to our post of The Black Keys‘ show at Terminal 5, and for good reason – it is an excellent recording of a band that is rapidly ingratiating itself with the mainstream. This song is a four-piece version of this song, with Leon Michaels on keyboards and Nick Movshon on bass.

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11. Panda Bear – “Song For Ariel (Guys Eyes)” – September 11, 2010 Governor’s Island. On the same day as the epic Dirty Projectors show back in Manhattan, Panda Bear was giving a magical performance on Governor’s Island that blew our minds both for the incredible quality of the sound (which did not always receive such good reviews for other shows) and the clarity and focus of the performance. This guitar-heavy and reworked version of this song was one of many highlights of an amazing show that also featured some new songs.

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12. Soft Black – “I’m Not Afraid of You” – August 7, 2010 A Backyard in Bushwick. This whole show was a testament to the power of the local music community and the DIY spirit of the moment. Soft Black were supposed to be playing on a rooftop elsewhere in the ‘hood as part of a benefit show for the people of the Gaza Strip. That show was shut down by the cops three acts in, while it was still light outside. But instead of giving up and calling it a night, the fans and bands rallied to move the show to one of the musicians’ backyard. Soft Black dedicated this haunting song, with its defiant refrain, to a kid who got arrested when the police shut down the rooftop show. The song itself is quite dark, but the moment was joyful, and powerful, in a way that I will never forget.

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13. Real Estate – “Reservoir” – June 25, 2010 Music Hall of Williamsburg. Real Estate is another band that has wowed us both with their consistent playing as well as their respect for their fans. We had seen them open for labelmates Woods a number of times, but this time, they found themselves as the headliner of the Woodsist showcase at the Northside Festival. This showcase was one of the best experiences of the entire Northside Festival, but Real Estate’s set in particular stood out, as the more mature band showed off some new songs, including the excellent “Reservoir.” Download the entire set [HERE].

14. Maps & Atlases – “Solid Ground” – August 12, 2010 Mercury Lounge. I caught Maps & Atlases back in 2009 touring behind their previous record, the EP You, Me and the Mountain. I liked what I saw – the unusual combination of freak folk and math rock, vocalist Dave Davison’s vocals, the dual percussionists – but they didn’t seem quite there yet. For one, while I liked their sound, I wasn’t completely blown away by the songs. That all changed with the release of this year’s Perch Patchwork, which was one of my favorite records of the year, and a massive leap forward artistically. For this show, the band was greeted by a spirited crowd literally screaming for more, and in particular, this song (you can hear a drunk dude yelling “Solid Ground!” in between every other song on the set before they finally play it). When the band finally played the song, the payoff was huge, and the jam at the end clinches it. After an outstanding set, Maps broke down their gear and put some chairs and drums in the center of the floor and played an acoustic set for those willing to wait. The performance was not only the most improved of any band that I saw this year, but also one of the flat-out best. It didn’t hurt any that the recording came out flawlessly, too. Download the entire set [HERE].

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15. Holly Miranda – “I’d Rather Go Blind [Etta James]” – May 26, 2010 Bowery Ballroom. A Bowery Ballroom headlining gig has become a barometer of a band’s success these days – for a New York band on their way up, there is your time on the scene before Bowery, and your time after, and after, things are never the same. This show represented Holly Miranda’s Bowery breakout, and she treated the event with the reverence due it as she ripped off a lengthy set representing her latest record The Magician’s Private Library, and played two covers, including this jaw-dropping rendition of an Etta James classic.

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16. Wilco – “Thank You, Friends” – April 2, 2010 Wellmont Theatre. The challenging acoustics of this venue did not deter Wilco from delivering one of the most epic sets we have seen of theirs (well over three hours long). This Big Star cover played tribute to their singular frontman, singer and songwriter Alex Chilton, who sadly passed away this March. Alex and his many contributions to rock music will be dearly missed.

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17. Sharon Van Etten – “One Day” – October 8, 2010 Rock Shop. It is no secret that this site has been a huge booster for Sharon Van Etten, and we are thrilled to see her career taking off in a big way (you can hear one of her songs, “I Fold” in the closing sequence in a recent episode of the Showtime series The Big C). In the two shows she played at Rock Shop this year, Sharon’s maturity and outstanding songwriting made us fall in love with her music all over again.

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18. Woods – “Bend Beyond” – May 13, 2010 Abrons Arts Center. In a music scene that is strong but fragmented, Woods have emerged as bi-coastal scene godfathers of sorts, in the way that Sonic Youth have been for a generation. The Woodsist label, for which the band is the anchor, has produced a roster of like-minded acts from the East and West Coasts that share a common affinity for the psychedelic, folk-influenced sound the label is known for. While they have been building a formidable presence with the label, Woods themselves have evolved far beyond the “freak folk” tag into a full-blown indie rock jam band of sorts, turning four-minute album tracks into epics that showcase their virtuosity on their instruments. This show, featuring the band backed by the Joshua Light Show, was especially sprawling, and never moreso than on this nearly twenty minute “Bend Beyond.” This show proved that this was a very different band than the act I saw opening for Dungen in 2009 – that band was a great “freak folk” act, if you will. This band is legendary.

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19. Spoon – “Car Radio” – September 13, 2010 Cake Shop. After we caught their set opening for Arcade Fire at Madison Square Garden, we weren’t sure we would have another chance to record Spoon this year. But then along came this secret show at Cake Shop, a live video recording for “Nobody Gets Me But You,” that proved to be one of the most exciting and intimate performances we saw all year. These guys remember where they came from (Austin) and we trust that they will never stop being one of the most consistent, most fan-friendly acts in the country. Download the entire set [HERE].

20. The Loom – “The First Freeze” – October 10, 2010 Backyard Brunch Sessions. We enjoyed many of the Backyard Brunch Sessions sets we saw this summer and fall, but perhaps none more than this performance by our friends The Loom, who proved that great musicians do not need extra amplification or trickery to make powerful music. Set up in a humble backyard in Bushwick, rocking a homemade bass made out of a washtub, they wowed us with their modern, folk-influenced sound. This song was my favorite of all, not least of which because of the added humor of some rowdy neighbors making noise in the background (who cannot be heard on the recording) – making a bunch of noise right before this (the quietest song of the set) song began. Once it got going, it was the most mesmerizing vocal performance of the day.

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21. Yo La Tengo – “Little Eyes” – December 7, 2010 Maxwell’s. If you have read this site once in December, you know that Yo La Tengo’s 2010 Hanukkah shows have been our main focus this month. These eight nights of unique setlists, special guests, and fan camaraderie at one of our favorite venues in the city, Maxwell’s, are some of the best nights of the year every time that YLT decides to do them. This song, from the Summer Sun album, is an expanded version augmented by the guitar wizardry of the legendary Nels Cline, who joined the band for most of this night’s set. Although we loved the December 5 show featuring Mission of Burma, this show on the 7th turned out to be our favorite of them all – a perfect balance of the band’s harder and softer dynamics that showcased them at the height of their powers.

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22. Bear In Heaven – “Lovesick Teenager” – November 19, 2010 Music Hall of Williamsburg. Bear In Heaven was another band that stepped up in a big way in 2010. A year’s worth of touring took what had been a great album act but somewhat uneven live band and turned them into the juggernaut that we witnessed at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Whereas previous shows had always faced technical limitations (primarily with respect to sound), everything was perfectly dialed in for this show, with the Music Hall sound system delivering crystal clear sound and a light show that dazzled the sold-out crowd. Not but twelve months ago this band was playing the cozy Zebulon down the street. This show was obviously this band’s “Bowery moment.”

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23. The Joy Formidable – “Austere” – January 12, 2010 Pianos. Whereas a Bowery Ballroom show tends to cement a band’s status in the scene, Pianos is Manhattan’s best incubator. Shows there tend to capture the nervous energy of bands trying to make their break who know that this could be it. We are pleased to say that since this show, The Joy Formidable did make it in a big way (including their own Bowery moment), playing tons of NY-area shows (almost all of which we saw) and bringing their music to new fans each time. Their massively loud sound is probably better suited a bigger venue, but we loved this Pianos show best of them all (and our recording sounded great).

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24. The National – “Terrible Love” – December 8, 2010 Maxwell’s. Though it borders on heresy (and is not an opinion shared by all who work on this site), I was not an instant convert to The National‘s critically acclaimed High Violet. I didn’t hate the album, but after a three year break from recording, I was not sure what I should expect from the band. High Violet didn’t grab me in the way that earlier records like Alligator did, and it didn’t help that I first saw the songs live in the sonically deficient Terminal 5, where the sound was so poor that even The National’s sound engineer commiserated with us about the venue’s challenges. Luckily, I was given a second chance at this rare set opening in the (relatively) tiny Maxwell’s for Yo La Tengo on the final night of their Hanukkah shows. This time, in this intimate setting, the subtle beauty of the High Violet songs shone through, especially on the set’s closer, this fantastic rendition of “Terrible Love.”

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25. We Were Promised Jetpacks – “It’s Thunder and It’s Lightning” – February 15, 2010 Knitting Factory. I went to this show on a lark, having never heard this Scottish trio before. Apparently I had missed the memo, as the Knitting Factory was so packed I was literally crushed against the soundboard. In the best of ways, We Were Promised Jetpacks are what I like to call Scotland’s answer to U2 – their songs rely on anthemic riffs and vocalist Adam Thompson’s throaty choruses. The band worked this crowd into a froth, the energy seething through the room, as Thompson belted out song after song in a way that could have melted the ice outside. In a show full of them, this song was a particularly stirring anthem.

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Special thanks to all of the artists, management, labels, photographers and other music sites that have supported NYCTaper this year. And of course, a huge thank you to our readers, who we hope to continue to provide with high-quality, artist-sanctioned recordings, reviews and photos throughout 2011. Happy New Year!

The National at Maxwell’s Revisited – Flac and MP3 Downloads (Two Sources) + Streaming Songs

December 21, 2010
By


[photo by mysticchildz]

We believe we over-extended ourselves on the recording of The National at Maxwell’s that appeared on the site last week [here]. Acidjack and I both recorded four tracks at the show, and we combined the eight tracks for that recording. The sound has been equally described as “amazing” and as “compressed”, but ultimately to me it sounds “too busy”. So we’ve decided to simplify the recording, split our sources and offer two separate recordings of the set.

There is a complete review of this show at the original post [here].

What appears below for download are these two recordings, nyctaper: Neumann microphones mixed with a soundboard feed, and acidjack: DPA and Schoeps microphones, four channel audience mix.

Stream “Apartment Story” (nyctaper source):

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Stream “Bloodbuzz Ohio” (acidjack source):

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These Recordings are now both available to Download in FLAC and MP3 and to Stream at Archive.org
nyctaper version [HERE]
acidjack version [HERE]

The National
2010-12-08
Maxwell’s
Hoboken, NJ USA

Digital Master Recording
Four Channel Soundboard + Audience Matrix

Soundboard + Neumann KM-150s > Edirol R-44 (Oade Concert Mod) > 2x 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (level adjustments, mixdown, set fades) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > Flac Frontend (level 7, align sector boundar ies) > flac

Recorded and Produced
by nyctaper 2010-12-21

Setlist:
[Total Time 57:03]
01 [introduction]
02 Start a War
03 Slow Show
04 Bloodbuzz Ohio
05 [banter1]
06 Conversation 16
07 [banter2]
08 Apartment Story
09 [banter3]
10 Abel
11 Green Gloves
12 Fake Empire
13 Mr. November
14 Afraid of Everyone
15 [banter4]
16 Terrible Love

****************

The National
2010-12-08
Maxwell’s
Hoboken, NJ USA

An acidjack master recording
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Equipment: DPA 4021+Schoeps CMC6/mk41>Edirol R-44 [Oade Concert Mod] (24/48)
Position: LOC, at soundboard, mics at 7.5′, pointed at stacks
Mastering: 2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Audacity (mixdown, set fades, tracking, smooth peaks and claps, light EQ, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 [introduction]
02 Start a War
03 Slow Show
04 Bloodbuzz Ohio
05 [banter]
06 Conversation 16
07 [banter]
08 Apartment Story
09 [banter]
10 Abel
11 Green Gloves
12 Fake Empire
13 Mr. November
14 Afraid of Everyone
15 [banter]
16 Terrible Love

If you email nyctaper for access to this recording, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT The National, visit their website, and purchase their official releases from The National’s Shop [HERE].

The National: December 8, 2010 Maxwell’s – Flac and MP3 Downloads + Streaming Song

December 17, 2010
By

hanukkahextras-2
[photo from Ira’s Hanukkah Diary]

The National last played NYC at Terminal 5 in July, a concert we covered for the site. Its hard to imagine that we would next see a band of that stature in Maxwell’s, but the Yo La Tengo Hanukkah shows bring surprises of all sizes. Although we were clued into this appearance earlier in the week (and the Village Voice spread our tweet), it was still pretty surreal to see the National take the stage in front of a hundred or so people. The band and their mini horn section managed to fit pretty comfortably on the stage, and they worked through a shortened version of the standard set. In a brief conversation I had with Bryce before the show, he remembered that the band had played Maxwell’s several times early in their history, and there were references during the show to those times. Despite how far they’ve come, The National still retain their perspective and the material was as authentic and powerful up close in the intimate venue as it was in the large ones they play now. The National will spend much of the first half of 2011 on tour in Europe, but we expect to see them again in NYC this Summer, although never again at a venue this compact.

We recorded this set with all six of our high-end microphones mixed in eight channels with a slight board mix. We used the Neumann’s for clarity, the DPAs for warmth and the Schoeps for the low end. The results are pretty outstanding. Enjoy!

We are no longer offering this particular recording, as the sound quality did not meet our standards. We now offer two separate versions, taken from the two-four track recordings captured by acidjack and nyctaper. The new versions are [HERE].

The National
2010-12-08
Maxwell’s
Hoboken, NJ USA

Digital Master Recording
Eight Channel Soundboard + Audience Matrix

Soundboard + DPA 4021s + Neumann KM-150s + Schoeps Schoeps MK-41s > 2x Edirol R-44 (Oade Concert Mod) > 4x 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (level adjustments, mixdown, set fades) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > Flac Frontend (level 7, align sector boundaries) > flac

Recorded and Produced by
nyctaper and acidjack
2010-12-16

Setlist:
[Total Time 56:52]
01 [introduction]
02 Start a War
03 Slow Show
04 Bloodbuzz Ohio
05 [banter]
06 Conversation 16
07 [banter]
08 Apartment Story
09 [banter]
10 Abel
11 Green Gloves
12 Fake Empire
13 Mr. November
14 Afraid of Everyone
15 [banter]
16 Terrible Love

If you email nyctaper for access to this recording, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT The National, visit their website, and purchase their official releases from The National’s Shop [HERE].

The National: July 29, 2010 Terminal 5 – Flac and MP3 Downloads + Streaming Sample

July 30, 2010
By


[photo courtesy of Steve/hightea]

I’ll admit to some trepidation about The National‘s three-year break between albums. After 2005’s excellent Alligator, the band’s brilliant Boxer (2007) is perhaps the best album of the entire last decade. The National toured steadily throughout 2008, and played two of the best shows we saw that year, at BAM in February and Summerstage in August. A relatively quiet 2009 and news of the new album led to a significant amount of anticipation — could the band meet the expectations and reach the bar they had raised so high after Boxer. The day that High Violet was streamed on the New York Times website (!), I felt an almost palpable sense of relief as I listened to the album straight through. The National had produced another stunning achievement — an album with songcraft equal or better than the band’s best material but with more confidence and maturity. High Violet is the album that cements The National as one of those few bands that will provide consistent quality music for as long as they choose to make it. At Terminal 5 last night, the band’s live show complimented the triumph of the new album with a performance of sustained excellence. The newer material blended well with the classics and in some instances shown brighter — “Lemonworld” reached a crowd-pleasing crescendo, “Bloodbuzz Ohio” was a show-stopper, and “Terrible Love” was a powerful show-closer.

We recorded this set with the Neumanns and the Schoeps in a four-mic configuration from a 12 foot stand in front of the soundboard cage. The sound in the cavernous venue was not quite up to our expectations, and while the recording has a lot of character, it lacks the clarity we expect. With those caveats, enjoy!

This Recording is now available to Download in FLAC and MP3 and to Stream at Archive.org [HERE].

The National
2010-07-29
Terminal 5
New York, NY USA

Four-Track Digital Master Recording
Recorded from Front of Soundboard Booth

Neumann KM-150s + Schoeps MK-41s > Edirol R-44 (Oade Concert Mod) > 2 x 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (level adjustments, EQ, mixdown, set fades) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > Flac Frontend (level 7, align sector boundaries) > flac

Recorded and Produced
by nyctaper and acidjack
2010-07-30

Setlist:
[Total Time 1:23:21]
01 [introduction]
02 Start A War
03 Anyone’s Ghost
04 Bloodbuzz Ohio
05 Mistaken For Strangers
06 Brainy
07 Squalor Victoria
08 [banter]
09 Afraid Of Everyone
10 Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks
11 [banter]
12 Lemonworld
13 Conversation 16
14 Apartment Story
15 Abel
16 [banter]
17 England
18 Fake Empire
19 [encore break]
20 Runaway
21 Mr. November
22 [band introductions]
23 Terrible Love

If you email nyctaper for access to this recording, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT The National, visit their website, and purchase their official releases from The National’s Shop [HERE].

The National February 22, 2008 BAM Opera House – Flac Download

February 23, 2008
By


[photo credit]

The National played an Opera House last night, and brought along their own orchestra. At one point during the show there were 15 musicians on stage, and yet The National retained the intimate “chamber pop” at which they have excelled. The sound quality and acoustics in this classic venue were superb and complimented the performance. The setting also offered a stark contrast during moments when the rock and roll side of this band came through — in particular the surreal moment when Matt left the stage and screamed the profane chorus of “Mr. November” while standing in the lap of some elderly BAM patrons.

When we recorded The National in a rainy outdoor Pier 17 in August, the band’s excellent performance was marred by a terrible sound system with static and crackling throughout. Last night the classic opera house acoustics and fine system favored the band and our recording reflects the quality of the sound. We were positioned in the second row of the mezzanine with a direct line to both PA stacks, and we are extremely pleased with the results. Enjoy!

This recording is now available to Download in FLAC and MP3 at Archive.org [HERE].

The National
2008-02-22
Gilman Opera House
BAM Brooklyn Next Festival
Brooklyn, NY USA

Digital Master Recording
Recorded from Mezzanine Row B
Left Center Seating Area

DPA 4021’s > Marantz PMD-660 (Oade BCM) > 16bit 44.1 wav > Soundforge (set fades, level adjustment, slight eq) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > Flac Frontend (level 7, align sector boundaries) > flac

Recorded and Produced by
nyctaper 2008-02-23

Setlist:
[total time 1:33:52]
01 Start A War
02 Brainy
03 Baby We’ll Be Fine
04 Slow Show
05 Secret Meeting
06 Mistaken For Strangers
07 Squalor Victoria
08 Abel
09 Wasp’s Nest
10 [band introductions]
11 Racing Like A Pro
12 Ada **
13 Apartment Story
14 [new song – no title given]
15 Karen
16 Fake Empire
17 [encore break]
18 City Middle
19 Mr. November
20 About Today
21 [second encore break]
22 Gospel

**Sufjan Stevens on piano

If you email nyctaper for access to this recording, we expect that you will PLEASE SUPPORT The National, visit their website, and purchase their official releases from them directly.

The National August 17, 2007 Pier 17 – Lossless Download

August 18, 2007
By

The National deserved better. The afternoon saw persistent rain that fortunately let up near the end of the opening set, and stayed clear throughout the entire National set. Unfortunately, there was some problem with the sound system, and in particular Matt Berninger’s lead vocal microphone that caused crackling every time he tried to raise the volume of his voice to match the level of the music.

All that aside, the performance was energetic and tight. I’ve never seen The National live before, but based upon the new album Boxer, which sounds very much like Tindersticks to me, I expected a more dirge-like performance. Instead, the band rocked and Matt wailed. The live National reminds very much of early Echo & the Bunnymen or PC&L-era New Order.

I recorded from an excellent position, about 30 feet in front of the stacks using the DPA uni-directional microphones. This position gave me a direct line to the sound, and avoided the pratfalls of an outdoor show, particularly one in rainy conditions and on the river. There is absolutely no wind noise on this recording. Again, the sound system let us down. At louder moments during vocals, the crackling is quite evident. During the completely instrumental moments, and quite parts of the show, the recording is outstanding.

This recording is now available to download in FLAC and MP3 at Archive.org [HERE].

More about FLAC

The National
2007-08-17
Seaport Music Festival
Pier 17
New York, NY USA

Digital Master Recording
Recorded from 30 Feet
in Front of Right PA Stacks

DPA 4021’s > Marantz PMD-660 (Oade BCM) > flac

Premiere Download offered at
http://www.nyctaper.com
nyctaper@nyctaper.com

Recorded and Produced by
nyctaper 2007-08-18

Setlist:
01 Start a War
02 Mistaken for Strangers
03 Secret Meeting
04 Brainy
05 Baby, We’ll Be Fine
06 Slow Show
07 Abel
08 Squalor Victoria
09 Racing Like A Pro
10 Apartment Story
11 Daughters Of The Soho Riots
12 Fake Empire
13 Mr. November
Encores:
14 Murder Me Rachael
15 About Today

16 Bonus Track (final song from The Forms set)

As with all artists featured on this site, if you download this recording please purchase The National’s new album Boxer:

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