A mild Summer evening treat, The National passed through town not on any particular album tour cycle, performing to a sold out Greek Theatre Thursday. (They’ll also trek north to that other Greek Theatre in Berkeley.) The stalwart American 5-piece by now cuts a familiar shape on stage – the Dessner twins, Bryce and Aaron, on guitars at either side, the Devendorf brothers, Scott and Bryan, the rhythm section at center, and singer Matt Beringer, either pacing the width of the stage or hunched over and clamped down two-handed on mic, plus a pair of brass and keyboard players at the back filling out the sound.
Live, The National, render their elegant slow simmer rock – lucid guitar lines, intricate drum patterns, Beringer’s imagist, often rueful lyrics crooned in his baritone – faithfully, adding just enough fire over the recorded versions. Drawing mostly from their last two albums for 4AD, High Violet and Trouble Will Find Me, as well as a healthy dose of new material, they pulled an uncommon amount of reverence from an audience that pounced on tickets to the quick selling show (their followers have expanded to well beyond the expected stylish, bookish faithful to bring in the casual fan, the curious, some of whom cannot shut up for five minutes during the quieter ones). Overall, there’s a nice near-equal appreciation for the more rocking louder ones – “Sea of Love”, “Terrible Love”, “Squalor Victoria” – as well as the quieter ones – “Sorrow”, “I need my girl”, a show ending unamplified acoustic “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks” sing along.
Photo by Sung
Nonobject(ive): Summer Happenings at The Broad returns for its second edition this Saturday, July 30. (Revisit our gallery from the inaugural June edition here.)
On tap for Saturday: a Sky Ferreira DJ set; Richard Hell reads over the drone of The Haxan Cloak; Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith collaborates with Mas Ysa; Ryan Heffington and Brontez Purnell serve up visuals and dance; and LA’s own Anenon will perform ambient jazzy electronic sounds.
Nonobject(ive): Summer Happenings
Saturday, July 30
[Tickets and Information]