Bummer about the 400 closing. It was always one of my favorite venues and two of my all time favorite shows where there.
Saw the national just prior to alligator blowing up big. D'ya remember ben? the sign said sold out, and we soaked our sorrows elsewhere, only to decide all the other options sucked. So we gave it one last try AND OF COURSE THEY HAD A FEW TICKETS left. but man was that place packed. somebody bought me a beer (a Pabst! ack!!) and folks had to pass it to me overhead, and i had to hold it chin high because there was no arm space nipple level and below (and you know how i love being close to people!) but it was a great show. matt fell off the drums (which was hilarious), and some dude behind us kept yelling for "pretty in pink" (which isn't hilarious, but somehow was) and i wish they would have played another hour. or even just one more song.
And of course, the 400 was where i saw Robert Forster and Grant Mclennan before they reformed the gobetweens (monday, june 14, 1999). that was such a great show. i can still see Robert's strum and pose during "Rock and Roll Friend" so clearly in my mind's eye. and Grant was so polite and shy between songs. They had eaten at purple onion in dinkytown before the show and were surprised that the crowd knew the place. I sure hope they knew how much everyone in that audience loved that show (and them). Folks didn't really even sing along to the songs (even though we knew every word) because we wanted to hear THEM sing.