Feb 25, 2018

The National @ Sydney Opera House Forecourt

I am always a little surprised and bewildered at the level The National have reached. Not that they are playing football stadiums but they are playing large venues and winning major awards (even a Grammy!). Their music is subtle and deep but also a little sombre and introspective so it's pleasing to me that they have reached a fairly sizable audience. Wednesday night was the first of two back to back sold out shows at the Sydney Opera House Forecourt. They played the same venue four years and whilst this show wasn't quite at that level it was naturally still a great night. A testament to the greatness that is The National.

In 2017 the band released their latest album in 'Sleep Well Beast' and whilst I really enjoyed it I thought it lacked the spark of their previous great work. Of course naturally they would play a fair chunk from the album, in fact they opened the night with four tunes from it. The one that received the greatest noise was 'The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness'. Later on 'Day I Die' would also go down a treat but it was older songs that were best received. Such as the euphoric 'Bloodbuzz Ohio' or the crowd rousing 'Conversation 16'. It was really exciting to see them reach down deep in their bag of tricks for old classics like 'Wasp Nest' and Secret Meeting'. By the time they finished up with 'Fake Empire' we were all totally in the hands of the band. Of course the encore was great although Matt Berninger's voice was getting a bit rough especially during the loudness that is 'Mr November'. When they finally closed with 'About Today' it was a satisfied crowd indeed.

Set List
Nobody Else Will Be There
The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness
Walk It Back
Guilty Party
Don't Swallow the Cap
Bloodbuzz Ohio
Squalor Victoria
I Need My Girl
This Is The Last Time
Wasp Nest
Secret Meeting
Conversation 16
I'll Still Destroy You
Born to Beg
Secret Meeting
Slow Show
Carin at the Liquor Store
Day I Die
Fake Empire

Mr. November
Terrible Love
About Today


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