August 6, 2010
How do i love thee, national? let me count the ways:
dark, brooding lyrics that make me read the lyric sheet and shiver (and worry about the well being of matt’s significant other) and all those super catchy couplets “I still owe money, to the money, to the money i owe” that ring through my mind kinda like when radiohead used to care.
the kinda alt/kinda classic rock that wouldn’t be that far out of place in any era, matched with some amazingly detailed (but rarely fussy) production that always lets the engaging melodies stand out.
All the Wine, Wasp’s Nest, Karen, Mr. November, Apartment Song, Bloodbuzz, Ohio, Blank Slate, About Today, Brainy, Mistaken for Strangers, Lemonworld, Daughters of the SoHo Riots
matt’s monotone but resonant vocals (“sing pretty in pink, sing pretty in pink!”) and his propensity for getting drunk (or at least it seems that way) through the course of the show (i’m sure he MEANT to fall off the drum kit at the 400 bar show)
and the drums...always the drums, especially on Boxer and High Violet, intricate, pulsing, minimalistic but full, and just the right restraint.
i could go on and on, but why bother. they are awesome and you know it, and if you don’t, do yourself a favor and listen. (alligator is my personal favorite, but Boxer and High Violet are critically better.)
I’ve seen them three times now and not been disappointed once (and i’m not really a multiple show kinda guy.....Phoenix was a crazy aberration brought on by the mind blowing, sweat filled show at the Varsity). You pretty much can’t go wrong seeing them.
So let’s see....what stands out from this show......they played Daughters of the Soho Riots, they played Apartment Song (not totally in love with the arrangement, but meh...hadn’t heard that one at the first ave show last summer), Abel, Mr. November, most of High Violet (darkness and the fourth song were neglected), they closed with About Today.
what else..... they played a new song (not sure on the title), that i really liked (even with the idiot who stood right in front of us and proceeded to talk to a chick through the entire encore.
and hmmm...oh yeah, Justin Vernon (bon iver) came out for a pile of songs (he’s coming, he’s going, he’s coming back again) best part was when he grabbed matt’s ass on one of the departures. that was pretty funny and i’m jealous.