You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘The National’ tag.

music life

So November was a busy month for gig attendance for me with one gig a week for three weeks!

The National @ the o2
It all kicked off with my favourite band at the moment, The National back for the second time this year and my second time seeing them. I really enjoyed the gig at the Marquee in Cork and for me they will never top that gig in the Olympia on a snowy December night in Dublin. We had seated tickets which I find always lacks a bit of atmosphere but at least the view was good. I loved the lighting and stage set-up and they had a large backing band with both brass and strings that enhanced their large sound and filled the o2. Matt always puts his heart and soul into every performance so much so I was in fear that he might fall off the edge of the stage or burst a vocal cord! There was a great mix of both new and old songs. For the finale, Matt went into the crowd and of course there was the now expected sing-along to ‘Vanderlyle Crybaby’ to end the gig on a high.

Blue October @ The Institute, Birmingham
Blue October are another one of my favourites and their gigs never fail to disappoint. This one was no different – the energy at a Blue October gig is always amazing. The Institute is in the Irish Quarter [how appropriate] on Digbeth High Street – a lovely intimate venue. They are currently touring their seventh studio album Sway. The band were truly on form for this tour and it showed. The set list was brilliant featuring many favourites kicking off with Sway. I also especially loved Fear, Not Broken Anymore and Bleed Out from the new album and also some of my old favourites including Into the Ocean, The Worry List and Italian Radio. We ended the night off in the Kerryman next door with a lock-in listening to the album – a fitting ending to another memorable gig.

The Lumineers @ the o2
The Lumineers are a folk rock band from Denver, Colorado. If you’re thinking the who? then all I have to say to you would be two little words ‘Ho Hey’!

ho hey
Based on the liking of that one song which was on constant repeat on the radio at the time, I agreed to go to this gig. It just shows how one popular song can sell out the o2. Apparently Dublin was their biggest gig to date. The band are good musicians hopping ably between instruments but they failed to hold my interest. With only one album and ten songs, there was a lot of pauses and a few covers to fill in time. The lead singer, Wesley, who looks a bit like Thor [Chris Hemsworth] was quite bossy telling us to stand up and put away our mobile phones. They also played ‘Ho Hey’ quite early on and there was a good sing-along. They tried to get close to the crowd by playing a short set in the centre of the o2. By the time the band came back on for an encore, we had had enough and left before the end which for me is a rare occurrence. Judging by the screaming adoring fans they won’t miss me at the next one.

Well two out of three great gigs in one month ain’t a bad score!
music warning

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!

If I stay here trouble will find me

The National release their sixth studio album ‘Trouble Will Find Me’ on May 17th and I can’t wait. I have tickets to both of their live shows in Cork at Live at the Marquee on June 28th which is now sold out and November 10th 2013 in The O2, Dublin. Enjoy!

Loving the new tune from The National “Think You Can Wait” from Thomas McCarthy’s new film “Win Win”. This song is sure to give you goosebumps.

As Just Music I Like quite perfectly summed it up as “A slow-burning ballad with some achingly beautiful orchestration and an intoxicating backing vocal from Sharon Van Etten.”
Listen and Love:

For those of us lucky enough to catch the gig of the year, it was last night in the Olympia where the National played their second night of a three night stint. According to reports, on thursday night the band weren’t fully prepared as they just about made it to the venue to appear on stage after an ardous bus journey from Shannon to Dublin after their plane was diverted. With no time for sound checks, it wasn’t till about a third of the way in that the sound finally came together. For us lucky souls though, the band were fully prepared and the sound was crystal clear from the get go so we could enjoy the full extent of Matt Berninger’s luscious, gravelly voice.

Support was by PHOSPHORESCENT, a Brooklyn-based band who appeared to be still trying to find their sound – it went from rock to country and back again! But when the National took to the stage, the atmosphere was so charged it could have lit up the whole country as they navigated their way through their newest album, High Violet, where every single song could be a hit and also threw in the best of the rest from their previous albums. The crowd were enthralled from start to finish loving every single second. Matt’s family were in one of the balconies and he told his cute, blonde-haired little girl that ‘daddys ok’ at one point. And need I say the encore was spectacular usually finishing on ‘Terrible Love’, we were treated to an extended encore finishing up on a stunning acoustic version of ‘Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks’ as much sung by the audience as Matt himself. A truly epic gig. For those who get to go tonight, they are certainly in for a treat and for those who witness the Other Voices intimate gig in Dingle, it’s sure to be amazing.

December 2010 will see the ninth recording of the world renowned Irish music TV series Other Voices. Artists and musicians from across the globe will come together to make musical magic over a few wintery days in the achingly-beautiful west of Ireland fishing village Dingle.

The recording of the TV series will commence on Saturday December 4th through to Wednesday December 8th. Four bands take part each day, with the morning and afternoon spent capturing interviews and one-off acoustic performances at off-beat locations around the breathtaking Dingle peninsula – from old shipwrecks on empty miles of beach, to pubs where you can buy a new tractor wheel whilst supping on your pint. Then each evening, the bands, and a handful of true music fans – there’s only room for sixty under the eaves of St. James’ – descend upon the church for a set of unique performances, filmed live for the TV show, which transmits on RTE2 early in the new year.

Already confirmed to appear are Brooklyn rock merchants The National [current Irish favourites] and Welsh songstress Marina and The Diamonds [currently riding high with a nomination for MTV European Music Awards 2010, vote for her here]. UK singer songwriter Richard Hawley [think Haagen-Dazs ad] is set to curate one evening of performances, with a selection of handpicked special guests. While the rumour mill is rife with line-up suggestions, the show producers remain schtum on other artists who will be taking part, though it has been confirmed that a number of Irish bands will be making their first appearance on the TV show.

The show producers are delighted to welcome back Intune Networks and Failte Ireland as partners for this new series of Other Voices. A limited amount of tickets for the recordings in Dingle will be released for sale shortly – details will be announced soon.

Am back and feeling rather jet-lagged!!!! What a mental week we had but great fun and lots of high jinks!!! It was as the Austrians say SUPER! Am surprised I survived as normally I have all the stamina of a new born kitten but thankfully with the aid of Spritzers [my new friend] I was more like the energiser bunny!!!

Fun in Fuschl am See
First part of the week we spent in Fuschl Am See, a little Austrian town near Salzburg. We stayed in a typical Austrian house on a hill overlooking a beautiful lake – think Heidi and you have got it in one. It was positively idyllic.

The hills are alive

Fuschl am See Lake

Enjoyed spending time with my two lovely nieces and the bro and his very hospitable friends. There was lots of swimming, enjoying food cooked by a Michelin starred chef, a trip to Mondsee [another picturesque little Austrian village] and trampolining table tennis.


The second half of the week when we dropped the girls off was music, music, music and we partied like rock stars!!!!

The National @ Arena

Saw the National in the Arena on Wednesday night – fab venue in the heart of Vienna that used to be an Abbatoir [although it smelled strangely of fish] and fab band [my new favourites and High Violet definitely contender for album of 2010 for me].

The marathon that was the Frequency Festival

On Thursday we headed to St. Polten for the Frequency festival, only about an hour outside Vienna, the festival was held in an industrial estate. The bro had got us VIP passes and you could actually see the Race Stage without having to leave which was excellent. The sun shone for the three days – the good thing about going to a festival abroad – not a welly in sight. It was a mental few days which we all thoroughly enjoyed. Would totally recommend Frequency.

Marina and the Diamonds

The music was awesome – especially Thursday with Marina and the Diamonds and The Drums, who, both played indoors in the plingg & Weekender Stage, rocked!!!!! Last time I saw the Drums I think I was a bit harsh on them and they are definitely a grower – the atmosphere was electric for those two bands. Unfortunately we didn’t make it down on time for my favourites Mumford and Sons as they were on quite early but we caught the Shout Out Louds, an indie rock band from Stockholm, Sweden, who I especially liked. Then it was up front and centre for White Lies who were excellent. Skunk Anansie (that lady has energy to burn) gave it loads even walking on the crowd and crowd surfing and Muse were an excellent way to round off the night. We lost the sis at the end of the night – Dad calls her ‘Amazing Grace’ [I once was lost but now am found] as she does have a tendency to go missing! Once found we headed to the car where we ended up sleeping for the night!!!

We started Friday in style by breakfasting in St.Polten in a lovely square in the centre of the village – very civilised and then we went apartment hunting, a lovely place with a private lake where we were staying for the night before we headed back to Vienna for some R’N’R [that’s rest and relaxation not rock and roll]! I did manage to lock myself in the toilet for an hour and a half and had to be rescued – thanks to the bro’s friend, let’s call him German, my hero! Didn’t get back to St. Polten till late picking up another one of the bro’s friends [am beginning to think he knows everyone in Austria], let’s call him Mission Possible, enroute.

Friday was a bit of a blur after LCD Soundsystem and Massive Attack, we ended up backstage and then rounded off the night in the nightpark dancing like a demon before I fell quite spectacularly outside the apartment – didn’t feel the pain though till yesterday though!!!! I have bruises in places I didn’t even know I had places!

Saturday the sis ensured we all were front and centre for Blue October and even recruited some new fans along the way – she is something akin to an evangelist for Blue October. They were good but was way too early and the crowd were thin on the ground but they gave it socks!!! We actually left the confines of VIP and ventured out to explore passing the Green Stage along the way and wandered through the campsite which on the last day resembled a shanty town. Made it back to the Race Stage for 30 Seconds to Mars – ah Jared I missed the Mohawk.

30 Seconds to Mars

I even navigated my way back to Vienna on the train without getting lost – if you knew me that is a major accomplishment! Must have better sense of direction when am tired and slightly drunk – who knew?

A very fun week but now it’s back to reality until the next festival. Ah I do worship at the altar of music!!!!

I was carried to Ohio on a swarm of bees

Love this husky new song by Brooklyn-based band, The National, offered as a free download now at Their new album, High Violet, should be out on May 11, according to their website. The band supported Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy in 2008. Their song “Fake Empire” was used by the Obama campaign at many high-profile events during the election.







Blog Stats

  • 1,004,545 hits

Currently Reading

Currently Listening to


All images from We Heart It unless otherwise stated.

Blog Awards 2013

blog awards ireland

Blog Awards Ireland 2012

blog awards ireland

Liebster Award 2013

Liebster Award