concert review: The National, Doveman @ Phoenix (Toronto, Ontario), October 8, 2007
Ok, I punked out on the promise of writing a proper review for The National's show at The Opera House back in June. Almost exactly four months later, The National were back in Toronto performing another sold out show this time at the Phoenix. From what I recall, the set list was fairly similar to their show back in June, meaning a generous helping of songs from their last two releases "Boxer" and "Alligator". Whether it be a matter of first time's the charm[their show in June was my first time seeing them live], or this show's set being overly similar to their last show, or maybe it was everyone's Thanksgiving turkey dinners kicking in, but relative to their last show, this show wasn't as exhilirating. Don't get me wrong - lead vocalist Matt Berninger and the rest of the band were as on top of their game as they were the last time, Matt especially as he embraced his mic and sang like his life depended on it, and the audience for the most part responded positively. However the pacing of the set was somewhat off, such as slight delays between songs a few times when chatter from the audience rose audibly, or the curious midset inclusion of their rocker "Abel" which I thought generally should have been included towards the end of their set. Much like The Arcade Fire's familiar set closer "Rebellion", The National's "Abel" evoked similar feelings of euphoria that it was a shame to have spent it so early on in the set. The show was worth it if only to see Canada's Hayden(who seems to have been M.I.A. until now) who the band joined in on a performance of Hayden's "Dynamite Walls".
I have a few photos from the show over at Flickr.
Chromewaves and Eye Weekly both have reviews of the show including comments on openers Doveman[which included 3/5's of The National as part of the band...I almost thought I walked into The National's set] who I'd only caught the tailend of their last song as I'd walked into the Phoenix. Uhhhh ... Thanksgiving turkey slowed me down.
MySpace: The National