|All photos by Kevin Norris|
They kicked things off with the Boxer classic "Start a War" and were joined by a pair of horn players who stuck around for the entire set adding a little extra color to the band's tunes.
The set was heavy on songs from The National's latest album High Violet as well as their breakthrough album Boxer. A few older tunes were big hits in the set too, including the raucous "Abel" and the even older "Available."
During the set, the band gave a shout out to local business Raleigh Denim, who outfitted the band with new jeans earlier that day which most of the group were wearing on stage.
The set closed with the soaring, elegant song "Fake Empire." Once the band returned to the stage after a short break, the launched into "Runaway" followed by an intense performance of the Alligator classic "Mr. November."
Moments into "Terrible Love," singer Matt Berninger disappeared into the front of the crowd, making his way up the aisle to the back of the room. He kept singing the entire time and his mic cable hovered over the crowd with fans passing it along so he could keep roaming. It was certainly a show-stopping moment.
With that, you'd think the band would be done, but they each took to the edge of the stage for a beautiful unplugged performance of "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks."
The National are a force to be reckoned with, not letting the melancholy vibe of their music keep them from putting on an intense performance better than most "rock stars."
Canadian singer songwriter Owen Pallet opened the show with a dazzling set of unique pop tunes featuring looped violins, vocals and drum samples. For a portion of the set he was joined by another musician on guitar drums to help fill out the sound. The song "A Man With No Ankles" was a highlight of the set.
The National set list
Start a War
Mistaken For Strangers
Afraid of Everyone
Available > Cardinal Song
Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks