Monday, June 7, 2010

The National - Electric Factory (6/4/10)

Even under less than ideal conditions, the National still impressed in concert. It wasn't an easy night though...

  • Traffic - The combination of it being a Friday afternoon with both the Flyers and Phillies having home games made the traffic in Philly pretty much miserable.
  • Venue - My first time at this venue, which is basically a warehouse. Those who want to enjoy a show with an adult beverage in hand are limited to the upstairs (with very few views of the stage) or the right-side of the stage downstairs (with sub-par acoustics). Not sure if that's by design or because of some silly ABC law, but it doesn't make a lot of sense to herd those willing to hand over more of their $$ into two undesirable areas of the venue.
  • Crowd - Somehow, we ended up surrounded by a bunch of ass hats who were more interested in boozing and talking than the concert itself. Essentially, they paid a $25-35 cover to get into the Electric Factory bar with the National providing the background music. Another reason to refrain from the over-21 areas next time.
Enough of being Debbie Downer. The band was much more engaging (with each other and the crowd) than the other times I've seen them. Singer Matt Berninger puts so much of himself into some songs that he looks like he's on the verge of a full-blown seizure - I honestly don't know how he does it on a nightly basis and is still sane. The setlist was a solid 22 songs - I believe all but one ("Cherry Tree") being from Alligator, Boxer or High Violet. It looked like "Fake Empire" was supposed to close the main set, but Berninger called an audible of sorts as the rest of the band was putting down their instruments and they instead closed with "Mr. November." I'd assume that this was meant to be their encore closer, because "About Today" ended the show kinda awkwardly.

All things considered it was a good night of music (with the Flyers and Phils chalking up W's to boot). LBJ scored a pair of free tickets to the Saturday show in a radio station raffle too, which by his account was a more pleasurable experience than Friday. Oh well, you can't with them all...

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