The National @ Alexandra Palace, London

At last 14th of November arrived. I had just worked a night shift and 3pm was as foggy for me as a 6am would be on any other day. But hey, I had a concert to go to and nothing was going to stop me.

I finally got to see The National live. And boy, what a concert it was. It’s one thing to see the Youtube videos, but being there was incredible. First of all, it is one of those bands that never, but ever, leaves my playlists on my phone. It somehow speaks to me on a crowded train ride home after a 12hour shift.

Before The National stepped the stage This is Kit warmed us up with their soothing banjos and music. I had never heard anything by them before, but I have already some tracks on Spotify in line to listen. They were a calm and relaxing band with beautiful sounds. There was even some whisteling in some songs.

As for The National, they started with Don’t Swallow The Cap from the new album and from there they gave 20 something more songs from the previous albums. Matt gave a stunning performance on Squalor Victoria and I Need My Girl was dedicated to his wife as it was her birthday (‘Someone call her and tell her I did this‘ – he joked). Sorrow, Graceless and England were just beautiful and the guitars and piano were spot on! They had a quartet with them to help them in anthems like Fake Empire – which closed the set.

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Encore started with Exile Vilify followed by a blasting Mr November. I was actually trying to call a friend at this point – being one of his favourite songs by them – when my roommate suddenly grabs me as Matt jumps to the middle of the audience and he was literally in front of me surrounded by eager people trying to touch him. I got to hold his hand and, my friends, I was shaking. Eventually he made it back to the stage where the strings for Terrible Love were already sounding. Ah…. how I love that song. If I had thought that had been a magical moment I wasn’t prepared for what followed. They ditched the microphones and started singing Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks. At this point you can only hear the guitars and the audience singing their hearts out echoing throughout the whole Alexandra Palace. I had shivers the whole time. I didn’t even had words to describe it afterwards and even now all I can think is: what a moment it must be for a band to hear their fans singing like they were singing one of their songs last night…..

I can almost forgive them for not playing About Today – one of my favourites.

They can come again, I will go again.

Claudia

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