We took the trip to Cork to see The National play Live at the Marquee on Friday night and boy were we happy we did. They never fail to disappoint me. We had booked into the Clarion Hotel and they had a free shuttle bus to and from the gig – happy days. It made for a stressfree gig-going experience. The Marquee is exactly what it sounds like, a giant tent located in the Docklands area. It was made even nicer by the fact that it was a lovely evening. The venue was well organised and easy to get around with friendly staff – minimum hassle getting in. There was a nice bar area, the toilets were spotless with bags of toilet roll and there was also a food area featuring Eddie Rockets. The gates opened at 6.30 and Tall Ships the support act came on around 7. The show had quite an early start with The National arriving on stage at 8ish. The place filled up quite quickly and there was a nice crowd and good atmosphere. The set list was a nice mix of the new album and previous albums – about 23 songs in total. It was noticeable that a lot of the crowd didn’t know the new album that well but that is to be expected. It was good to hear the new songs live and some really stood out like Graceless, Fireproof and Sea of Love. I’m loving the new album more and more. It is more of a grower than High Violet but just as good. I love Matt’s deep voice, the brass instruments and the lyrics. He does seem to love the Irish and talked about his first gig in Cork where they played to 20 people and thanked Joe Nicholson of Whelan’s who showed his mum a good time. The crowd were certainly loving The National – singing along and dancing. They rounded off the night with Terrible Love and an acoustic version of Vanderlyle Cry Baby where Matt dived into the crowd. We left on a high and I for one can’t wait to see them again in November in the o2 or 3 or whatever it shall be called from now on!

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