The National @ Sycamore
Brooklyn, NY - May 21, 2013
The National have always been and always will be a serious band making serious music that to most ears does not sound like anything to do with raw, pure rock n' roll. Having been called "chamber pop" in the past, being tied to classical and avant garde artists and events, and just having a somber disposition in most of their songs would appear to relegate them from what we think of as a rock band. But never you mind, hoss. This is a rock band. These guys have always had the spirit and vigor of a rock band. Not only they can belt it out like madmen, not only do they do tribute to videos to wild, loud Soviet rebel punk rock, they do things likes this:
A sudden free midday show in their neighborhood bar to celebrate the release of their new record today. Then they are playing a contest-only ticketed show at 5PM and then playing a set at the best small venue in town at 10PM. These are the kinds of things done by rock bands who like to have fun with what they do.
Playing songs from Trouble Will Find Me (and one furious edition of "Bloodbuzz, Ohio"), the National were not just relaxed and happy playing their Ditmas Park watering hole (Hi neighbor!), they were empowered by it. They were in their element. And it offered a great perspective to how it will be in a couple of weeks when they headline the Barclays Center. Unlike some other bands that are "from Brooklyn", these guys have really made it their home. And we're benefiting from that.