Thursday, 27 June 2013

Live - The National & Local Natives at The Roundhouse, Camden 26/06/2013

On a bill mirroring the end of The National's ATP event at Camber Sands last year (pictures from that event here), the band rolled into town with Local Natives in tow to play one of the lower-key last minute gigs that they're fitting in around their summer festival schedule.

Local Natives played a solid 45 minute set, winning some new fans amongst those in the crowd who hadn't heard of them before. They were joined onstage for one song by Aaron Dessner, who produced their latest album, and by the time they left the stage an already-full Roundhouse was primed and ready for their heroes to appear.
Local Natives with Aaron Dessner, London 26/6/13
The massed crowd weren't to be disappointed, with The National putting on a heroic performance - 2 hours, 23 songs (see the setlist below) and each one a mini-masterpiece. With a full-on lights and visuals show, which started by showing the band on screens while they were backstage, they ripped through most of the new album and a host of tracks from its predecessors.

Matt on stage, Matt on screen 26/6/13
Matt Berninger was his usual self-deprecating self, explaining that self loathing is good ("if you don't hate yourself then everybody else will") and claiming that his version of dancing involved stumbling around and smashing things. Although he was on fine form it did seem as if the Matt from a few years ago had taken the stage - during the evening he drank a whole bottle of wine, and gradually became simultaneously more introverted (crouching at the back of the stage with his head practically in a guitar amp) and more extroverted (throwing the mic stand around, smashing the mic into the side of his head). This was the sort of performance you used to get before he got married and had his daughter - he seemed to have mellowed since then but last night it looked as if some of the demons might have returned.

Matt Berninger, The National, London 26/6/13
Undoubtedly one of the finest National performances I've seen, and probably the gig of the year so far - here's the setlist:
  • I Should Live In Salt
  • Don't Swallow The Cap
  • Bloodbuzz Ohio
  • Secret Meeting
  • Sea of Love
  • Demons
  • Afraid of Everyone
  • Conversation 16
  • Squalor Victoria
  • I Need My Girl
  • This Is The Last Time
  • Abel
  • Apartment Story
  • Pink Rabbits
  • England
  • Graceless
  • About Today
  • Fake Empire
  • Heavenfaced
  • Humiliation
  • Mr. November
  • Terrible Love
  • Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks (acoustic)
The National, London 26/6/13

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