Entries tagged with: The National

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A Dessner smiles on Philadelphia (more by David Andrako)
The National

Much like at Restoration Rocks over the weekend (which Talib Kweli wasn't too happy about), the artist-soon-to-be-formerly-known-as-Mos Def will team with the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra for a show TONIGHT (10/12) at the World Financial Center at 7PM. As previously mentioned, the event is FREE. Check out some videos from Restoration Rocks below.

In related news, The National's Bryce and Aaron Dessner will participate in an upcoming performance at World Financial Center Winter Garden on 10/22, the world premiere of Bryce's St. Carolyn by the Sea

Under the direction of conductor George Manahan, the American Composers Orchestra will give the world premiere of "St. Carolyn by the Sea," ...who will be joined on electric guitar by his brother and bandmate Aaron Dessner. Showcasing some of the brightest young talent in the new-music firmament, the evening will also feature a world premieres by composers Paul Yeon Lee and Ryan Gallagher as well as New York premieres of music by Ruby Fulton, Andrew Norman, and Suzanne Farrin.
Hopefully you can make it to the FREE show, but if not check out the audio stream at Q2 Music, "the online contemporary classical stream of WQXR".

Continue reading "Mos Def played w/ BK Philharmonic @ Restoration Rocks (video), does again tonight @ WFC (where Dessners play soon)"

The National in Philly last week (more by David Andrako)
The National

Tickets are on sale for all six shows. The new dates are the 16th & 17th. No openers for them yet. The four previously announced shows went on sale today at 11am.


Furthur are going on a tour that hits MSG on November 10th. Tickets are on sale now. The after party is at BB King's.

As previously mentioned, Ray Davies is going back out on tour. Tickets to the Beacon Theater show are now on AmEx presale and go on general sale Saturday at 10am.

Tickets to all four National shows at Beacon Theater (in case you hadn't noticed) go on sale today (9/16) at 11am.

Other shows now on sale at the Beacon include Steely Dan, Bryan Ferry, Yo Gabba Gabba!, The Jayhawks & Rosanne Cash, Gillian Welch, Weird Al, NY Comedy Fest stuff, two Noel Gallagher shows, and Tori Amos.

Shows coming up and on sale at Town Hall include more comedy stuff and Rufus & Martha Wainwright's "Not So Silent Night" Christmas Show.

The National in Philly (more by David Andrako)

Tickets go on AmEx presale at 11am for all four National shows at the Beacon Theatre. Remember that each show has a different opener.

The National at Academy of Music in Philadelphia (more by David Andrako)
The National

Early this morning we wrote:

...the National headed to LA for another great triple bill last night (9/11) at Hollywood Bowl. They played that show with Neko Case and Sharon Van Etten. Their next scheduled gig is November 6th in Singapore. Hopefully more NYC shows get announced soon, but for now they have nothing coming up in North America at all.
Well, that didn't last long! Santa Claus will arrive early this year because The National will play a four night residency in NYC at Beacon Theater from 12/12 - 12/15 as part of a short stint of just-announced North American dates in late November/December. Each NYC show is with a different great opener. The The War on Drugs open the first night. Sharon Van Etten the next. So Percussion after that. And Wye Oak, who just opened for them in Philly, opens the last.

Tickets for all of the Beacon Theater shows go on sale on presale on 9/14 at 11AM, with regular sale hitting 48 hours later.

All tour dates are listed below...

Continue reading "The National announce North American shows, four nights @ Beacon Theater (dates)"

photos by David Andrako

The National
Yo La Tengo

"The National returned for a few encores, and Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo joined in on guitar for an exhilarating version of "Terrible Love." The energy roaring from the stage prompted Berninger to dive into the audience, and make his way through the crowd and head to the back of the room, where he walked along the circumference of the lower level taking a victory lap while still singing with mic in hand. This was followed by a tender a capella reading of "Vanderlyle Cry Baby Geeks." In a word, glorious.

Yo La Tengo, hand-picked by The National, opened the show. Every indie-rocker worth his flannel knows Yo La Tengo formed in 1984 and that their named translates to "I have it." Twenty-seven years on, they should consider changing the name of the band to "Todavía tienen que," or they still have it. They still can seamlessly segue from tortured guitar noise freakouts to breezy folk-rock topped with ethereal vocal harmonies. Hands down, the highlight of their set was "Periodically Double or Triple" which featured Kaplan churning away on the keys in a manner which would have made Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs proud while bassist James McNew and drummer Georgia Hubley nailed down the greatest Stax-Volt groove never heard.

Opening this wonderful bill was Baltimore's Wye Oak, touring in support of their latest release, Civilian. Guitarist Jenn Wasner's vocals were dreamy and her guitar playing was nothing short of towering. And watching Andy Stack playing both drums and keyboard simultaneously was a complete delight." [Phawker]

The review is from the first of two shows The National played with Yo La Tengo (complete with Sun Ra Arkestra horn section) and Wye Oak at Philadelphia's Academy of Music last week. The pictures in this post are from the second (9/8).

Since then the National headed to LA for another great triple bill last night (9/11) at Hollywood Bowl. They played that show with Neko Case and Sharon Van Etten. Their next scheduled gig is November 6th in Singapore. Hopefully more NYC shows get announced soon, but for now they have nothing coming up in North America at all.

More pictures and the National's setlist from Philly, below...

Continue reading "The National played Academy of Music in Philly w/ Yo La Tengo & Wye Oak (pics & setlist)"

New Yorker

Below you'll find a preview of this year's New Yorker Festival schedule. Tickets will go on sale at 12 noon E.T. on Friday, September 9th.

Continue reading "New Yorker Festival 2011 schedule (St. Vincent, The National, Galifianakis, Aziz Ansari, Scissor Sisters & more)"

The National at Coachella 2011 (more by David Andrako)
The National

The National and Yo La Tengo are both on tour this summer, mostly separately, but will play a few dates together with Wye Oak in September including two at Academy of Music in Philly. None of those bands have any NYC shows scheduled at the moment, but Yo La Tengo will come even closer than The City Of Brotherly Love. They play Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, NJ on September 24. Ticket information TBA.

You can also catch 2/3 of YLT at the Danny Amis benefit happening at Maxwell's on June 29. Tickets for the benefit are still on sale.

The National's Bryce Dessner will also be in NYC this Sunday (6/19), in spirit anyway, when his O Shut Your Eyes Against the Wind composition is performed by the Bang on a Can All Stars as part of the Bang On a Can Marathon.

Bryce recently spoke to Unfold about his and Aaron's multimedia project The Long Count which premiered at BAM and is currently being performed overseas. The project is based on Mayan mythology and features visuals by Matthew Ritchie and a 12-piece orchestra that features Colin Stetson and vocals by Kim and Kelley Deal, Shara Worden and Matt Berninger. The project has only been presented live thus far, but Bryce says:

"We don't want to release a performance DVD or anything like that. I think you really need to see this show in person to understand the visual elements. But I think the songs will stand up on record, so we're looking to release an album in early 2012. Once The National tour dates calm down, we can concentrate on recording it more fully."
In other National-related news, Aaron Dessner is on board to produce Sharon Van Etten's next album. According to a January interview with Done Waiting, the collaboration is going/went well:
"I [Sharon] always express ideas, but honestly my arrangement abilities are pretty limited because I have never really had access to anything other than a guitar and vocal. I always have harmonies in mind, and working with musicians that have a vision with my music too is really helpful to learn how to do it better. I am working on new stuff now with Aaron (Dessner, of the National) and I say, "maybe strings on this," and he says, "we'll do a bunch of arrangements and you tell us what you like." People who are really motivated to help me see my visions. Being able to go to a studio that has more at my fingertips is opening me up to new ideas too. I am still learning every day. I am constantly exploring, mostly work with my bass player and my drummer and learning how to have a band and write together and then moving on from there. Still exploring these new songs; and they are opening up every day."
Sharon Van Etten opens for Beirut in the hopefully dry McCarren Park tonight (6/17).

Before heading out with The National and Yo La Tengo, Wye Oak will play Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, CT with Marissa Nadler on July 15. Tickets are on sale now. After the National/Yo La Tengo dates, Wye Oak will support Explosions in the Sky on part of their previously announced tour. That tour hits Wellmont Theatre on October 3, but Wye Oak do not open that date. The Antlers do. Tickets for the Wellmont show are still available.

Marissa Nadler

Marissa Nadler, whose self titled LP was released this week and is streaming on NPR, also has shows coming up on her tour with Faces on Film. That tour hits Mercury Lounge on July 27 (tickets) and Littlefield on July 30 (tickets). Marissa plays CT again on July 31 at Rudy's in New Haven (New Haven show cancelled).

All tour dates for everyone below...

Continue reading "The National, Yo La Tengo, Wye Oak, & Marissa Nadler (upcoming shows & stuff)"

photos by David Andrako


"While it was kind of a running joke that the gnarled dance-punk band was one of the biggest reunions at this year's Coachella (Death From Above 2005 jokes abounded), the band reasserted what made them such a strange and compelling commodity in the first place.

Lacerating bass, Grainger's falsetto wails and a relentless rhythmic urgency both hearkened back to the mid-'00 dance punk craze, yet reminded the audience that their palpable violence set them apart from their more trend-minded peers.

"Romantic Rights" and "Blood on Our Hands" rode slithery, distortion-tangled bass lines over the kind of four-on-the-floor that bassist Jesse F. Keeler would explore more thoroughly in his disco aegis MSTRKRFT.The audience seemed simultaneously enthralled and a bit confused."
[LA Times]

Death From Above 1979's performance on Sunday was the second time the reunited band graced a public stage since announcing their return. The first was a semi-surprise appearance at this year's SXSW at March that got much more attention than anyone even anticipated due to a bit of violence that made the late night news. In May the band does it again at Sasquach.

Coachella 2011 concluded on Sunday with a big headlining set by Kanye West. I already posted some pictures from that one, but a more proper set is also in this post which also includes our full set of pictures from the California festival's final day (day one pics HERE, day two HERE).

Bon Iver's Justin Vernon who played Friday night with Gayngs, made two guest appearances on Sunday, first with the National earlier in the day and then with Kanye West during one of the most high profile sets of the weekend.

The other big set of Sunday was by the Strokes who weren't afraid to play the hits. Their full setlist is below.

The Strokes

PJ Harvey (who arrives in NYC this week) played her headlining set on the "Outdoor Theatre." It overlapped with both The Strokes and Kanye...

"Backed by a nimble three piece band, Harvey, with the Strokes audible from the nearby main stage during the silences between songs, delivered the most emotionally intense performance I witnessed at this year's Coachella, singing songs of violence, war, love and lust (mostly from her harrowing new Let England Shake), before a crowd of rabid supporters...." [SPIN]
a rabid supporter... (this pic not by David Andrako)...PJ

More pictures from Sunday, below...

Continue reading "Coachella 2011 Day 3 in pics (The Strokes, DFA1979, PJ Harvey, The National, CSS, MEN, Nas, OFF! & more)"

Win Win

To quote Birds Need Feet...

"The National have recorded a song for the soundtrack of the upcoming Tom McCarthy-directed film Win Win which will see its proper US release on March 25. The song is called "Think You Can Wait" will play over the credits of the film, and it's a beautiful mellow track featuring backing vocals from Sharon Van Etten. The track was recorded at the recording studio of Aaron Dessner, guitarist of The National, and was produced by Peter Kadis who co-produced the band's 2007 album Boxer."
You can listen to the song below, and you can see Sharon Van Etten TONIGHT (3/16) at the BrooklynVegan official SXSW showcase (if you happen to be in Austin). Her other dates (like Hollywood Bowl with the National & Neko Case, and Music Hall of Williamsburg with Little Scream who plays our Austin day party this Saturday) are down there too...

Continue reading "listen to a new National song from 'Win Win' w/ Sharon Van Etten backing vocals (see Sharon live on tour)"

photos by Chris Gersbeck

The National

The National played a 40 minute encore-less set at Milk Studios in NYC last night (2/9), one night after their MTV taping at the Studio. The occasion was an invite-only Deleon Tequila Fashion Week party.

National week continues with two Bryce Dessner events tonight (2/10) including the first of three Brooklyn Youth Chorus shows at St Ann's. Fashion week continues as well, with among other things happening, a Richie Rich fashion show at Hammerstein Ballroom that you can buy yourself a seat for.

More pictures and the setlist from the National Milk show, below...

Continue reading "the National played a Fashion Week party @ Milk (pics, setlist)"

photos by David Andrako

The National

There was quite the lineup of shows at Webster Hall last night (2/8). While Gang of Four was tearing up the main stage, a band that could easily fill that room (and much more) was in a smaller one in the same building, The Studio at Webster Hall. That band was The National, whose surprise performance in the tiny space was part of an MTV 'Live in NYC' taping that will be available to watch on MTV.com on 2/21...

As I expected, the band plays their heart out no matter what the circumstances are or the size of the stage. Berninger is much a exciting performer now, then he was back in the day. He screams, he jumps on things, he rocks back and forth and even tried doing a little crowd surfing. Can you blame him? That band has progressed nicely into one of the premiere American rock bands...

Despite the rather cramped settings, this was great show to witness. They picked all crowd pleasing tracks from High Violet, The Boxer and Alligator. Lucky You from Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers was a nice surprise... When Matt mentioned the taping for MTV, he insisted that all the songs were inspired by Jersey Shore. -[Music Snobbery]

It kicked off at 9pm, and the band left the stage around 10:20. Check out the setlist (all bolded titles were taped for MTV), and more pictures from the show below.

Continue reading "The National played the Studio @ Webster Hall (pics, setlist)"

Matt @ ACL 2010 (more by Tim Griffin)
The National

The National will be playing an MTV taping at The Studio at Webster Hall on Tuesday night (part of MTV's Live in NYC series). Unfortunately a few tickets just went on sale and sold right out at 10am for the lucky people who knew (I didn't realize they were going on sale at that time), had the password (conversation16), and could actually get one. The sort of good news for those who don't have a ticket is that they'll post the video of the show online on MTV.com on 2/21, and that I have a pair of tickets to give away. Details on how to win, with all current National tour dates, below...

Continue reading "The National playing an MTV taping at the Studio @ Webster Hall (win tix) & other dates (like Coachella)"

DOWNLOAD: The Forms - Fire to the Ground w/ The National's Matt Berninger (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Forms - Steady Hand w/ Pattern Is Movement's Andrew Thibaldeux

The Forms at Cameo (more by Jessica Amaya)
The Forms

As we discussed, The Forms have a new record on the way in Derealization due on February 15th. Pre-order it now. The Brooklyn band will celebrate the record that features the above Matt Berninger-guested track at Feb 12th at Rock Shop in Brooklyn. Tickets are on sale. The Andrew Thibaldeux-guested track is reposted up there too.

The NYC show is a single one-off date, much like their Boston show with The Dismemberment Plan. But the band will hit the road for a proper tour a week later on their way to SXSW. Full tour dates and a stream of the Matt song is below...

Continue reading "MP3 of the Forms song Matt Berninger sings on & more dates"

Beach House @ Prospect Park (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Beach House

Kevin Drew's Favorite Albums of 2010 (via)

The National, High Violet (4AD)
Here We Go Magic, Pigeons (SECRETLY CANADIAN)
Beach House, Teen Dream (SUB POP)
Big Boi, Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty (PURPLE RIBBON/DEF JAM)
Owen Pallett, Heartland (DOMINO)
Brian McBride, The Effective Disconnect (KRANKY)
Bishop Morocco, Bishop Morocco (HAND DRAWN DRACULA)
Four Tet, There Is Love in You (DOMINO)
Matthew Dear, Black City (GHOSTLY INTERNATIONAL)
Pastor T.L. Barrett and the Youth for Christ Choir, Like a Ship… (Without a Sail) [reissue] (LIGHT IN THE ATTIC)
Beach House also made Pitchfork's Top 10.

Kevin Drew's band Broken Social Scene is touring soon and playing Terminal 5. Big Boi has a show coming up at Terminal 5 too. Beach House have two shows coming up at Webster Hall as part of a short tour, and they played Conan last night (12/20). Video below...

Continue reading "Kevin Drew likes Beach House who played Conan last night"

The National

If there's a Hanukkah equivalent of the Grinch, they're probably relieved that last night, Wednesday, December 8th, was the final night of Hanukkah and the final night of Yo La Tengo Hanukkah shows. Those in attendance last night were treated to an opening set by a local band called The National and comedian Marc Maron. Frequent YLT collaborators Bruce Bennett (of the A-Bones) and Gil Divine were special guests during the encore, and Hamish Kilgour of the Clean sat in most of the night on guitar.

Here's the final tally:

12/1 - M. Ward, Todd Barry, Nash Kato
12/2 - The Parting Gifts, Jim Gaffigan, members of The Feelies
12/3 - Jeff Tweedy, Eugene Mirman & Kid Congo Powers
12/4 - Syl Johnson, Jon Glaser, Peter Wolf & Ira's mom
12/5 - Mission of Burma & Wyatt Cenac
12/6 - Mofungo, Amy Rigby, Wreckless Eric, Mikael Jorgensen, Tara Key, Gil Divine & Eugene Mirman
12/7 - Bonnie Prince Billy, Kurt Braunohler & Kristen Schaal & Nels Cline
12/8 - The National, Marc Maron, Hamish Kilgour, Bruce Bennett, Gil Divine
YKT's 12/8 setlist is below...

Continue reading "The National & Marc Maron opened for Yo La Tengo (and Hanukkah is over)"

photos by Tim Griffin

Austin City Limits

"An estimated 200,000 people journeyed the grounds of Zilker Park this weekend for the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

The descent of the iconic guitar sign Monday signified the end of an incredibly successful ACL Music Festival, and with eight stages and 130 bands, clean up is expected to take the rest of the week.

"This year's ACL was one of the best. The weather was incredible," City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department spokesperson Victor Ovalle said.

The show's producer, C3 Presents, takes care of cleaning up Zilker Park, and the city sends crews into the surrounding neighborhoods to remove any trace of music fans who know how to have a good time.

After C3 Presents leaves the park later this week, fertilizing and watering the grass will city's number one priority." [News 8 Austin]

Friday pictures HERE. Lucero HERE. The xx HERE. Mayer Hawthorne HERE, the rest of the Saturday HERE, Flaming Lips HERE, and the rest of the pictures from Sunday (and the conclusion of our 2010 Austin City Limits coverage), below...

Continue reading "ACL 2010 Day 3 in pics (Foals, Eagles, Yeasayer, Norah Jones, Ted Leo, Devendra Banhart, Morning Benders & more)"

words & photos by David Andrako

The National

The National kicked off the third leg of their North American tour supporting High Violet on Friday night at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ. The band is playing theaters and auditoriums until Mid-October along with two festivals, Austin City Limits on October 10th and the Treasure Island Music Festival in San Francisco on October 17th. Then comes a two-week break before playing 21 gigs across Europe from mid-November through the first week of December. As if that isn't enough travel, the band is playing a string of shows in Australia and New Zealand around New Year's Eve.

Friday night's opening act, Owen Pallett, who recently opened up for the Dirty Projectors at Terminal 5, was accompanied by Thomas Gill for a brief 40 minute set which was comprised mostly of songs off his latest album, Heartland. The duo were able to layer harmonies, Owen's violin, and Thomas's guitar into a mix that sounded as clean and good as the album. After opening for the The National on this leg of their tour, Owen returns to Canada for several shows through the end of October.

The National's set opened with "Runaway", the slow building track from High Violet. They performed it on a barely light stage, and proceeded to run through a 19 song set that featured songs from the band's 5-album catalog. Highlights of the set included a particularly energetic version of "Squalor Victoria" and show closer "Terrible Love". The latter featured lead singer Matt Berninger's only attempt of the evening to wade out into the crowd.

More pictures and the setlists from the NJ show, below...

Continue reading "The National & Owen Pallett played Wellmont Theatre in NJ (pics & setlists)"

most photos by Josh Darr

Dodos w/ special guest Neko Case / The Antlers
The Dodos
The Antlers

"There were no special effects during Soundgarden's performance on the last night of Lollapalooza -- no lasers, no costume changes, no props or hydraulics. Even the video screens switched over to black and white. But the band didn't need any added visuals: Soundgarden delivered an explosive set of classic '90s songs in front of their biggest audience since their breakup 13 years ago. Chris Cornell underplayed the band's return, suggesting their decade-plus break was more like a few years. "It's good to be back!" said Cornell, who's grown his hair back out to its late-'80s length. "We just took a little break, but now we're back."" [Rolling Stone]
Soundgarden's Sunday night setlist (they played against Arcade Fire), a bunch of of videos and the rest of our 2010 Lollapalooza pictures, below...

Continue reading "Lollapalooza 2010 - Day 3 in pics, Soundgarden setlist, videos"

photos by Matthew Eisman

Terminal 5

"They opened with a strong, stirring rendition of "Start A War" (Featuring the immortal lyrics: "You were always weird but I never had to hold you by the edges like I do now. Walk away now. And you're gonna start a war.") and they never looked back. Highlights included stellar performances of "Bloodbuzz, Ohio," "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks," "Fake Empire" and "Mr. November" some charming, semi spastic arm waving gestures by the tall skinny lead singer with the wonderfully soulful baritone voice and a delicious veggie dog from the roof deck. They closed the show with "Terrible Love"--the opening song from their newest album. The only disappointment for me was they they did not perform "Racing Like a Pro" or the magnificent "Gospel." But it was a really great night. And a great live musical christening of my second half century." [Teddy Vegas]
Two days after their Prospect Park show, The National headlined the fourth SPIN/ZYNC party at Terminal 5 (The National's 2nd ZYNC gig this year). Openers at the Thursday night show were Kurt Vile and Suckers. NYC Taper taped the show and you can download it at his site. More pictures and the National's setlist, below...

Continue reading "The National, Suckers & Kurt Vile @ Terminal 5 (SPIN 25) - pics, setlist, live audio "

photos by Amanda Hatfield


"Officials plan to reduce the number of Canada geese in New York State by two-thirds, eventually trimming the population to 85,000 from 250,000, according to a report prepared by several city, state and federal agencies.

The reduction is part of a larger plan that also calls for the near halving of the Canada geese population in 17 Atlantic states, to 650,000 from 1.1 million. The New York Times obtained a copy of the report.

In New York City, the report says, the current goose population of 20,000 to 25,000 is "five times the amount that most people would find socially acceptable," suggesting the number would be reduced to about 4,000...

...The first steps outlined in the plan went into effect last summer, when 1,235 geese in the city were gassed to death. The total for this summer remains unknown, though nearly 400 were killed after being rounded up in Prospect Park this month" [NY Times].

Though not with complete sincerity (Matt Berninger mentioned he also likes to know he's safer flying out of La Guardia), The National dedicated their song "The Geese of Beverly Road" to the slain geese of Prospect Park at last night's Celebrate Brooklyn show at the Prospect Park Bandshell. The band of two sets of brothers and a wine-loving frontman was rounded out by Padma Newsome on whatever Padma does, their usual horn players and Conrad Doucette on extra percussion.

"I think this is the first show we've played that we can walk to", said one of the Dessners to the beyond sold out hometown crowd at the celebratory show. And it was only one of three big sold out NYC shows the band is/was playing in less than two months (the first being Radio City) (the next being Thursday at Terminal 5) (more dates HERE).

The weather was perfect and the setlist was 21 great songs long. you can read it with more pictures of the show that Beach House opened (they sounded their usual good, album-like, dreamy selves), and a video, below...

Continue reading "The National & Beach House played Prospect Park (RIP geese) - pics & setlist"


It's a busy week for big NYC shows. The Flaming Lips are here for two performances, starting with the gig tonight/Monday at Central Park SummerStage. Oneida opens. The Flaming Lips show Tuesday night at Terminal 5 is part of the Spin25 series of gigs running each day this week.

Spin25, sponsored by American Express's new ZYNC card (as you can see in the picture above), kicks off with Smashing Pumpkins tonight at Terminal 5, and continues with Flaming Lips on July 27th, the Black Keys on July 28th, the National on July 29th (all at Terminal 5), and Spiritualized on July 30th at Radio City. Show openers are listed below (Spiritualized, which has no opener, is the only one with tickets available currently).

7/26 - Smashing Pumpkins @ Terminal 5 (w/ Kill Hannah & The Jim Jones Revue)
7/27 - The Flaming Lips @ Terminal 5 (w/ Fang Island)
7/28 - The Black Keys @ Terminal 5 (w/ Lee Fields & The Expressions & The Whigs)
7/29 - The National @ Terminal 5 (w/ Suckers & Kurt Vile)
7/30 - Spiritualized playing Ladies and Gentlemen (TICKETS)
If you don't have tickets, we're offering one more chance for you to see the shows. We have two pairs of tickets to give away to each of the last four (that's all minus Smashing Pumpkins). Details on that are below...

You can also watch the shows online: SPIN & ZYNC are streaming them.

Several of the above bands have more shows this week too. The Black Keys play two SummerStage shows with the Morning Benders on July 27th and 28th (the second being the an early show on same night they play T5). Those two shows are also a tour kick-off for the two bands. All dates below.

The National also play Celebrate Brooklyn on Tuesday, July 27th with Beach House opening. They'll be back in September for a show at Wellmont Theatre with Owen Pallett who opens both Arcade Fire shows at MSG next week.

Contest details and dates below...

Continue reading "SPIN 25 this week (win tix, stream the shows) ++ it's a busy week w/ more Black Keys, Flaming Lips & National shows too "

words by Rachel Kowal, photos by Matthew Eisman

Radio City

It's hard to believe that The National headlined last night at Radio City Music Hall (they were the opener a few years ago when the Arcade Fire played there) and harder to believe that the massive space sold out. Sure, their last two albums have done especially well, but really? Radio City? I mean Lady Gaga is playing there in July. In "Little Faith," Matt Berninger sings, "I know what you think. You're waiting for Radio City to sink." Yes, ominous indeed.

The evening began with a rousing set by The Antlers. As if to echo the themes of hospitals, sickness, and funerals found in their solid debut, Hospice, white flowers decorated the stage. The Antlers' performance was bolstered by the addition of a two-man brass section (courtesy of Tim Cronin and Jon Natchez) and lovely female vocalist Sharon Van Etten. They played an extended version of the standout track "Sylvia" in addition to an unnamed new song. After playing a short string of songs from Hospice roughly in chronological order, The Antlers concluded their set with "Wake."

Walking into Radio City, I admit that the prospect of seeing two praise-worthy bands in such a huge space had me both exhilarated and fearful. Would they be able to master the space and overcome the obstacles posed by a seated show? How would they make the experience personal?

Though majestic, the space was a bit stifling. But to help cut down on the formality of a seated show, the majority of the orchestra section stood up when the band walked on stage and remained standing for the entirety of the evening. The National's front man, Matt Berninger, hopped off the stage to cavort with the audience in front during the third song, "Bloodbuzz Ohio." Sure, he only stayed down there for a few seconds, but it boded well for the rest of the show. The third wall came crashing down early.

The National also had some additional musicians on stage to help fill out their sound. Throughout the show, a small brass section again consisting of a trumpet and trombone contributed to the mix. Additional treats came on the seventh song, "Squalor Victoria," when a string section walked on stage. After that, it got almost ridiculous. St. Vincent's Annie Clark hopped on the piano for "Vanderlye Crybaby Geeks" and shared backing vocal responsibilities with Sufjan Stevens for the following song, "Afraid of Everyone." "I'm sorry they're so plain looking. We try to set a standard," Berninger wryly joked. "I wish we could have them on stage all night," replied a Dessner brother.

Radio City

But the real magic happened during "Abel." At least, it did for me. Berninger jumped off the stage once again and started pulling that oh-so-long mic chord behind him as he walked up the aisle in the theatre. For a few seconds, I lost sight of him. And then, there he was, right outside my row. And then... what? Berninger started climbing over the seats and ended up stumbling right into Row WW, Seat 409 - my seat. As he stood haphazardly balanced on the seat behind me, he leaned over, grabbed my shoulder to steady himself and put the mic right in my face as he sang. And, though I know nearly all of the lyrics to their songs and the chorus to "Abel" in particular is embarrassingly simple, I admit I froze a little and was too stunned to sing along. After my moment had passed, Berninger continued on his way, climbing over the seat in front of me and then heading back to the stage. It's almost as if he knew that this was only going to be a one-paragraph review (since I recently wrote a lengthy one for the BAM show) and wanted to spice it up. After Berninger fled the scene, BrooklynVegan photographer Matt Eisman and I stared at each other in disbelief. Did that just happen?

The show continued with a few more songs and a solid four-song encore that (of course) included "Mr. November". This time when he wandered into the crowd, Berninger climbed the stairs to the first tier of the balcony where people encircled him and furiously sang along. Berninger proceded to walk to the far side of the balcony and back down again, his mic chord dangling over the crowd in the orchestra section below. After over an hour and a half of play, The National concluded their encore with "Terrible Love."

The National will spend much of 2010 on tour. That includes a show in Prospect Park and one that was recently announced at Terminal 5.

More pictures, a video and the setlists from Radio City, below...

Continue reading "The National & The Antlers played Radio City Music Hall (with help from Sufjan, Annie Clark & other friends) - pics & setlists"

The Flaming Lips in Poughkeepsie in April (more by Ryan Muir)
The Flaming Lips

Remember the five Spin 25th Anniversary shows announced in March? Here they are:

7/26 - Smashing Pumpkins @ Terminal 5
7/27 - The Flaming Lips @ Terminal 5
7/28 - The Black Keys @ Terminal 5 (a late show)
7/29 - The National @ Terminal 5
7/30 - Spiritualized playing Ladies and Gentlemen in its entirety @ Radio City Music Hall
A ZYNC/AmEx ticket presale for all five shows IS GOING ON NOW (started at 10am). Public sale happens Monday, June 14th at 11am. That is exactly consistent with the on-sale info Spiritualized posted with the previous announcement for this Radio City show, and with the on-sale info posted with the "Smashing Pumpkins" announcement. The Smashing Pumpkins Terminal 5 show is part of a string of "intimate" shows Billy Corgan and band are playing in July.

The Spin shows are sponsored by American Express Zync, just like the National @ BAM show that happened in May.

The National have other dates (including Radio City June 16th) coming up. The Flaming Lips and the Black Keys both play Central Park SummerStage around the time of the T5 shows. In fact, the July 28th T5 show is late show following one of the Black Keys SummerStage shows.

Some related recent videos below...

Continue reading "Flaming Lips, Black Keys & the National, Smashing Pumpkins & Spiritualized playing SPIN 25th birthday shows (on sale now)"