The National have had a fantasic year. The release of their new record High Violet has been one of the most talked about albums of the year, they’ve been all over the country touring, and bands are opening for them this time around. Pretty great stuff. Not to mention they’re one of the highest billed acts on the bill at this year’s installment of Lollapalooza and their touring with The Antlers, an up and coming three piece indie outfit. Life is good.
The band brought their stellar catalog to the Riverfront Theater in Milwaukee to a packed house. Before Matt Berninger & Co. could strut their stuff, The Antlers took the stage for a captivating set filled with songs from their breakout Hospice, as well as giving us a taste of some new material. Throughout the set The Antlers praised The National for bringing them on tour, and I don’t blame them. It can’t get much better than playing a packed house every night with another Brooklyn-based band (but isn’t every band from NY these days?).
The National made their way to the stage and threw down a 20+ song set with grace and made their presence known. “Runaway” wasn’t exactly a dash out of the gates as an opener, but you have to rememeber the show isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. Highlights of the set included the new found anthem from the new record of “Bloodbuzz Ohio”, solid Boxer tracks “Brainy” and “Apartment Story” and the stellar and surprising appearance of “Geese of Beverly Road”.
Berninger always finds a way to muster the prolific “Abel” and the set-staples “Fake Empire” and “Mr. November”. Once you realize the show is over after High Violet opening track and distortion filled “Terrible Love”, you look back at the set and realize the band’s surprisingly expansive catalog fills the set with solid tracks to the brim. The band is something to admire, because not many bands have the ability to do what they do.
The National’s Setlist
Mistaken For Strangers
Afraid of Everyone
Geese of Beverly Road
Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks