YouTube In case you missed it, Matt Berninger, Aaron Dessner and Bryce Dessner of…
- Posted on Jul 30th 2010 12:00PM by Ginny Yang
Simone Joyner, Getty Images
Opening act Suckers lined up in a row across the edge of the stage and played falsetto-filled tracks off of 2010's 'Wild Smile,' including 'Save Your Love for Me,' 'It Gets Your Body Movin'' and 'Martha.' Singer Quinn Walker, clearly awed by the crowd, recalled picking up a copy of Spin magazine in high school and wondering, "Wouldn't it be weird if I was in that?"
The National's set was alternately filled with quiet restraint and aggressive release. Joined by a cast of back-up horn and string players, the ensemble played tracks spanning their catalog. Recent singles like 'Conversation 16,' 'Bloodbuzz Ohio' and 'Terrible Love' made it onto the set list alongside older offerings like 'Abel' and 'Mr. November.'
Singer Matt Berninger, who stood out from the rest of his casual band mates in a slim-cut dark suit, spent much of the night facing away from the audience, scuttling across the stage and pounding his balled up fists. When not playing sad songs for magazine-lovers, the band inspired moments of pure catharsis. During 'Squalor Victoria.' the deep-voiced frontman knocked down his mic stand and roused the crowd to shout the chorus back at him.
While introducing 'Lemonworld,' guitarists Aaron and Byrce Dessner warned the crowd that it was the hardest song for the group to play and record. What followed was a sublime rendition of the 'High Violet' track that prompted Berninger to remark "See, it was perfect!" Although he was speaking of the previous track, the singer easily could have been referring to the National's entire performance.