Monday, December 19, 2011

Photos & Review: The National @ Beacon Theatre

The National @ Beacon Theatre -- December 16, 2011

Mariel and Margaret’s AWESOME REVIEW [Editor's Note: Haha yes nicely done.]
By Mariel Marrelli and Margaret Yang

We saw The National Friday night at their penultimate show of a sold out, weeklong engagement at the Beacon Theatre in NYC. As Fucking Nostalgic contributor James M. Graham best put it: “A week of shows? Who do they think they are the Allman Brothers?” The Brooklyn based band is known for their deep voiced lead singer and clever lyrics, so we thought it would be a slower, chill show. However, as one of the many plaid shirt wearing audience members quickly proved, with his fist pumping and almost mosh-pit like enjoyment, this show would be anything but chill.

The lights dimmed and Duran Duran’s “Wild Boys” played over the speakers. A screen set up behind the instruments lit up with a peek into the dressing room while the band finished their drinks and bantered. Due to technical difficulties, this only lasted a minute or two, and then the screen went dark and stayed that way until the band took to the stage for their opening song: “Ada.”

It was a night filled with guest appearances. Richard Reed Parry (from Arcade Fire) joined in on “Conversation 16,” a song he arranged vocals for. The biggest guest star united both hipsters and Phish-heads when Trey Anastasio from Phish took the stage for three songs: “Bloodbuzz Ohio,” “Squalor Victoria,” and “Murder Me Rachel.”

“Murder Me Rachel” started a period of the night that lead singer Matt Berninger quoted as his “Suite of Hate Songs” that spanned “City Middle”, “Wasp Nest” (which Matt proudly declared, “We can use sleigh bells because Black Flag did”) and “Available.” Ending the period of hate, Matt promised, “Okay, no more downers. Now, this one’s called Sorrow.”

After moving from their older repertoire the band played a song not even recorded yet called, “I Need My Girl,” a slow but sweet tune that neatly dovetailed the aptly named “Sorrow.” They then closed out the set with “England” and the crowd favorite “Fake Empire.”

During the encore, the band tapped into their inner The Who, tossing around guitars and mic stands as well as passing out half finished drinks to audience members while plowing through “Think You Can Wait”, “About Today”, “Mr. November,” and “Terrible Love.” The best, as they say, was saved for last. Calming down, the band invited the opening act, My Brightest Diamond and all the guest musicians to the stage for an acoustic version of “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks” while the audience stomped, clapped and sang along.

It was an excellent show, however, next time we hope to be closer to the stage in order to join in the mosh pit and partake in some the band’s drinks. Maybe next year The National will play two weeks at the Beacon… Take that, Allman Brothers!

Favorite Show Moments:


Song: The Acoustic "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks"
Band Moment: At the beginning of the encore, Matt thanked his manager for leaving him a martini in the bathroom.
Biggest Regret: Though being from Ohio, I’ve never been carried there in a swarm of bees.


Song: "I Need My Girl"
Band Moment: Matt, while enjoying a wine and a martini, jokingly requested a beer, only to get it a song later and pass it to the audience.
Biggest Regret: Not wearing plaid to the show.


Check out more of Mariel and Margaret's photos from this AWESOME SHOW along with the full setlist below!

The National @ Beacon Theatre, 12/16

Anyone's Ghost
Mistaken For Strangers
Afraid of Everyone
Conversation 16
Bloodbuzz Ohio
Squalor Victoria
Murder Me Rachael
City Middle
Wasp Nest
I Need My Girl
Fake Empire

Think You Can Wait
About Today
Mr. November
Terrible Love
Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks

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