(Note: - Above not from Melbourne show)
Brooklyn's The National
are one of my favourite bands right now, so, at the Corner last night it was great to be able to see their first ever show in Melbourne.
A big highlight of the performance was the delivery from two of the band members. The unbridled enthusiasm of Aussie multi-instrumentalist Padma Newsome was a joy to watch, irrepressibly devoting his efforts into two keyboards, as well as frenzied violin solos.
Also great was the impenetrably intense delivery from Matt Berninger, always impassioned - even to the point of delirium with his on-stage stumbling, and off-stage excursion during Abel
reminding the audience that his ‘mind’s not right’.
The setlist was pretty much split between Alligator
, with the only exception being the final song of the encore. There were some regular peaks within songs that were quite inspiring, but it was actually hard to identify a song highlight. I guess this is a testament to the band’s consistency as songwriters and performers, but also an indication that this was probably just a solid, not an outstanding show.
It seemed a rawer, rockier performance than I’d imagined . This was to be expected to some of the angrier and more emotionally confused tracks of Alligator
, but I’d imagined a touch more variety. I'd envisioned more meticulous, restrained renditions of songs such as Slow Show
or Fake Empire
I also didn’t think the sound seemed quite right. It didn’t seem loud enough (which was a bit at odds with the rawness of the show), and the mix seemed too heavily balanced in favour of the vocals, over everything else. Would have loved to hear more of the smooth, sharp snares.
All in all it was pretty good though, and I’m really looking forward to be seeing them again tonight.
It is worth also mentioning Deloris
, who put in a great performance as main support. Energy, catchy tunes, guitar feedback. I kinda forgot them when I mentioned that list a few weeks ago
about local stuff, cheap and live.