Thursday, October 17, 2013

The National at the Starlight

Okay, this is the last post I'm going to do about The National. I promise. Three might be more than I should do but I couldn't pass up telling you about last Friday where I finally (after two months of waiting) got to see them in concert.

Shortly after I became obsessed with the band, I went onto their website to check their tour listings. Normally when I do that with a band they are touring Europe or the Northeast or something. The bands rarely ever have anything close. But I looked at The National's schedule and one date stood out for me. October 11th, Kansas City's Starlight Theatre. They were three hours away in a cool open air auditorium.

I quickly used my powers of persuasion on Jeff, meaning I might have begged a bit and promised that it was the only thing I would ask for for my birthday. He said yes and we proceeded to buy tickets. This was the end of July/beginning of August. I printed the tickets, hung them on the fridge, and waited, mostly impatiently.

So when the concert finally rolled around, I took a half day on Friday so we could head down early. We got to the theater about 6:30 and sat through probably the oddest choice of an opening band I've ever heard. Sadly even live I was not a fan of the opener. It didn't help that they had their bass cranked up so high that it hurt my throat. But I sat through it, waiting for The National to take the stage.

As they were setting up the stage I noticed that the drummer was in the back warming up and testing out his drums. I took some pictures of Bryan although with the smoke effects they were testing only a couple came out. Then the band took the stage and I was instantly in heaven. They sounded so good. I was that annoying fan who sang along, took hundreds of pictures and video, and danced in my place. I'm sure I annoyed the girls in front of me as I screamed out "Squalor Victoria" along with Matt.

The band played for 10 minutes shy of two hours. They did four songs as part of their encore, including Mr. November where Matt wandered out into the crowd. Sadly his microphone detached and we lost his audio for most of the song. But it was great to see him wandering among the fans, screaming out the lyrics. They played almost two dozen songs and I knew every single one. Even Jeff had a blast and he normally hates anything with live music. They had played most of the ones he really wanted to hear.

But the best part of the concert was watching the band on stage. I'd seen videos of them performing (lots of videos) but it was different to realize that they were right there in front of me. I've mentioned before that I have a bit of crush on Bryce and getting to see him play (we were on his side of the theater) was incredible. He's incredibly dynamic on stage. I even got video of him bowing his guitar (below).  But each member of the band was wonderful to watch. Matt with his pacing and primal screams and wine drinking. Bryan with his incredible drum work. Scott bouncing along to his bass playing. And Aaron rocking out on either the guitar or the piano. And the sound was amazing. When they finally wrapped up, with the whole crowd singing Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks, I just didn't want it to end. An amazing night, one that I won't forget for a long time.

Edit: I have two videos that I'm trying to upload. But blogger doesn't seem to like them. I'll keep trying so check back if you're interested.

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