The National at Massey Hall

I saw the National at Massey Hall last week. Here’s what they played:

Set:

  • Don’t Swallow the Cap (the line “And if you want to see me cry/Play Let it Be or Nevermind” is touched by genius)
  • I Should Live in Salt
  • Demons
  • Bloodbuzz Ohio (the song that inspired mine and my nerd lobster’s joke that literally any sequence of words can be turned into National song lyrics if mumbled just so. Try it for yourselves! Seriously: “I was carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees.”)
  • Sea of Love
  • Heavenfaced
  • Afraid of Everyone
  • Squalor Victoria
  • I Need My Girl
  • This Is the Last Time
  • Abel
  • Slow Show
  • Apartment Story
  • Pink Rabbits
  • Lucky You
  • England (Matt Berninger botched the second verse; copious amounts of red wine were consumed, by the way, which is to say nothing of all the red wine that was flung into Massey Hall’s seating area)
  • Graceless
  • Fake Empire

Encore:

  • About Today
  • Mr. November
  • Terrible Love
  • Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks (acoustic, with the audience singing; loved this ending)

I really enjoyed myself. I’ll admit that I was somewhat skeptical beforehand, not because I don’t like the National–I own the band’s entire catalogue, for goodness’ sake–but because I haven’t really been in a National frame of mind lately, not even when I was in Europe and an album like High Violet would’ve fit perfect musically. But the band was great, while Matt Berninger was, as promised, wholly engaging and completely unpredictable (he spent part of the encore crawling around Massey Hall on all fours). Plus, it was mine and my nerd lobster’s first-ever concert!

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