October 1, 2018

The National played Forest Hills Stadium

The National brought their first ever mini-festival, There's No Leaving New York, to Queen's Forest Hills Stadium for a solid weekend of top talent and thrills.

Over the course of two days, the National enlisted the likes of Jason Isbell, Future Islands, Cat Power, and plenty of others to help them cap-off the summer season at Forest Hills Stadium. On the second night of the weekend, the band did a fantastic job of capturing the hits from across their solid discography. Known for their dark and somber tunes, live shows in massive outdoor settings might not seem the most logical, or ideal, locations to see the group, but over a decade and a half into their career, the band can cater to their audience, better than most, and really propel their tracks to another level when done properly. The new track "Light Years" was a soft, airy intro to the night, but "The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness" kicked up the energy and from that point forward, the band felt at ease and gave each song an added bit of texture and muscle, making for a truly wonderful performance. "Sea of Love," "Mistaken for Strangers," and "Squalor Victoria" were all early in the night to help slowly and steadily build the show into something really beautiful. The songs were pumping with energy as frontman Matt Berninger contorted his body all over the stage while letting out visceral shouts at the peak of each song to the extent that it's a wonder he can still grumble with such a grand vocal register. While the band's latest record, Sleep Well Beast, saw a good representation in the set, it was the band's brilliant 2007 release, Boxer, that dominated the show. "Green Gloves" and "Brainy" were another pair of resilient tracks that sound as mature now as they did eleven years ago. "Shhh... I'm thinking about something" Berninger told the crowd midway through the show, his lightheartedness a nice contrast to the emotional drain of his lyrics. The main set wound down with an impressive four song run of "Pink Rabbits," and "Graceless," into "So Far Around the Bend," the song for which the weekend was named and one the band suggested the majority of the crowd wouldn't recognize. "Fake Empires" closed out the set in a stunning fashion and affirmed the group's status as a supreme band at the height of their career.

Set list:

01 "Light Years"
02 "The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness"
03 "Walk It Back"
04 "Sea of Love"
05 "Mistaken for Strangers"
06 "Squalor Victoria"
07 "Dark Side of the Gym"
08 "This Is the Last Time"
09 "I'll Still Destroy You"
10 "Turtleneck"
11 "Green Gloves"
12 "All the Wine"
13 "The Geese of Beverly Road"
14 "Slow Show"
15 "Pink Rabbits"
16 "Graceless"
17 "So Far Around the Bend"
18 "Fake Empire"
19 "Maybe Not" [Cat Power cover]
20 "Brainy"
21 "Terrible Love"
22 "About Today" [dedicated to Scott Hutchison]
23 "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks"

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