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The National at Basilica Hudson (July 14, 2017)

By Will Oliver, July 23rd 2017 — with 1 comment

When The National return with new music, it tends to be a good year. I guess it’s a good year, as they’re back with their long-awaited new album Sleep Well Beast on September 8 via 4AD. They gave fans a sneak preview of the album at Basilica Hudson on July 14 and 15 (we caught the first show on the 14th), much smaller shows that their upcoming performance at Forest Hills Stadium.

This wasn’t just any ordinary show, as it was titled a Guilty Party (taken from the recently released song of the same name) that featured opening sets from friends of the band that included: Buke & Gase, Nadia Sirota, Mouse on Mars, and SO Percussion. They used the setting of Basilica Hudson to put on a special show, with The National set up in the round in the middle of the room, while each of the openers were given a mini-stage in a corner where they each had a chance to shine.
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It’s pretty hard to believe that it’s been four years since The National released Trouble Will Find Me. Fans have been patiently awaiting a new album, with the wait made a bit easier with the bands other projects, including El Vy, LNZNDRF, and the countless work of the Dessner twins. All signs have been pointing towards a new album this year, and the band have been slowly dropping hints about the new record, which was finally announced today.
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[new]: The National – “Sunshine On My Back”

By Will Oliver, April 2nd 2015

The National - Sunshine On My Back

There’s not much better than getting a new song out of the blue from one of your favorite bands. We got that today with a brand new single from The National called “Sunshine On My Back.” It’s not the first single of a new album, but rather a leftover from the Trouble Will Find Me sessions and it’s being included as a bonus for fans who purchase the bands documentary Mistaken For Strangers.

It’s a beautiful sweeping track that features the always fantastic Sharon Van Etten on backing vocals. It’s a great song, but I can sort of understand why it was left of the album. Not a knock on it, but stylistically it doesn’t seem to fit as well.

If you didn’t purchase the movie, you can find the single available to stream on Spotify and available to purchase on iTunes.

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The National at Boston Calling 2014

By Will Oliver, September 6th 2014 — with 1 comment

1_The National_Boston Calling 2014

It can be tough to see the band that you love suddenly become the band that everyone else loves too. Not that there is anything wrong with a band finding new fans through the fame that they ultimately deserve, but depending on the band, and the new fans that come flocking, it can be a tricky subject.

The National are the rare case of a band that has somehow stayed the same, even with all the new waves of success that have come their way. Sure the crowds have gotten bigger, and the stage set-up a little fancier, but this is still the same band I saw rock South Street Seaport for free in summer 2007.
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_2DSC_6616Photos by Andrew St. Clair

Last week The National played three consecutive sold out shows at Prospect Park. I was at night one of sold out three-night-run at Prospect Park which saw Phosphorescent open things up. Find my write up and photos on that right here.

Andrew St. Clair was there for night two, where Lord Huron opened. He captured some gorgeous photos of both them and The National, which you can find in the gallery posted below.
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The National Fallon

If you’re a fan of The National and haven’t seen their recently released documentary, Mistaken For Strangers, get on that right now. It’s fantastic.

To support it they stopped by Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show to perform “This Is The Last Time”, one of the many highlights off last year’s Trouble Will Find Me. They are supported by a string section, which only heightened the already mighty live version of the song.

Watch below.
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The National Play SNL

By Will Oliver, March 18th 2014

The National SNL

Things are finally calming down for me after a busy and wild 10 trek in Austin for SXSW. As you could tell I didn’t have time to post, so I’m playing catch up in a major way.

One of the things I sadly missed was The National‘s epic Saturday Night Live debut. Although I wasn’t able to watch it live, I was just proud to see that they killed it as usual.

They performed a very riveting performance of “Graceless” and a refined offering of “I Need My Girl.” It was a big stage for them, but they brought it home (literally). Very proud to see them on the SNL stage. About damn time, if you ask me.

I’ve shared both of their performances below, in case you also were busy at SXSW, or if you just want to see it again.
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The National To Play SNL

By Will Oliver, February 28th 2014

The National

“It’s about god damn time.”

That’s what I said out loud when I read that The National were booked as the musical guests on the March 8 episode of Saturday Night Live. Lena Dunham of Girls will be the host.

After all these years, it feels like a victory to see the band booked for SNL. They sure do deserve it. It will continue to push them towards a much bigger audience, something that they’ve been growing steadily with every year it seems.

No one deserves this more. Be sure to tune in or set your DVR’s. This is going to be awesome.

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