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The National’s Forest Hills fest wrapped up w/ Future Islands, Cat Power & more (pics, review)

After kicking off on Saturday, The National‘s mini-festival There’s No Leaving New York wrapped up on Sunday (9/30) at Queens’ Forest Hills Stadium with more of their friends and collaborators. Bully started off the day by blazing through a ferocious set, undaunted by the bright sun. Up next were U.S. Girls, who transformed the stage into a full on dance party. Meg Remy and her nine-piece band were irresistibly funky as they extended a few songs from this year’s excellent In A Poem Unlimited into full-on grooves. “What if this was your last chance to dance?” Meg asked the crowd, egging them on.

Cat Power has been on tour in support of her first album in six years, the anticipated Wanderer, but she started off her Sunday set with a haunting, pitch-perfect rendition of “He Turns Down,” off her 1998 album Moon Pix, which recently turned 20. After that she ran through a few new songs, including “Woman,” her collaboration with Lana Del Rey. Chan Marshall was backed by a three-piece band at Forest Hills but her new material is led by her soulful, expressive voice with only minimal touches of instrumentation. She left the mic stand and became visibly more animated for a version of “Manhattan” from her last album, 2012’s Sun. Live, the lyrics approached a free-form stream of consciousness abstraction more than what’s on the album, but they still managed to capture the spirit of the song, which was a set highlight.

As The National later pointed out, Sunday was the final show of Future Island‘s very long tour, but if they were exhausted from all that time on the road, they showed no signs of it. When Samuel T. Herring wasn’t growling and yelping the lyrics and displaying his repertoire of awkward, sexy, exuberant, and totally unconsciousness dance moves, he was dispensing words of wisdom between songs like a beacon of positivity. “The good old days are ahead of us, not fucking behind us, okay?” he exclaimed at one point, to huge cheers.

The National promised unique sets for each night of There’s No Leaving New York, and on that they almost entirely delivered. Two songs were deliberately repeated: an emotional “About Today,” dedicated to the late Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit, and another set closing, singalong rendition of “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks.” Sunday night’s set pulled much more heavily from Boxer than Saturday’s, and Sleep Well Beast and Trouble Will Find Me were also well-represented. Appropriately, they also dusted off “So Far Around the Bend,” their contribution to 2009’s Dark is The Night compilation, whose lyrics inspired this weekend’s mini-festival. Matt Berninger dedicated a cover of Cat Power’s “Maybe Not” to Chan, calling her “one of my favorite artists of my lifetime.”

Check out pictures from Sunday at There’s No Leaving New York in the gallery above, and video clips, and setlists from The National, Future Islands, and Cat Power below. Catch up on the rest of our coverage of the festival with our pictures and review of Saturday HERE.

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Setlist: The National @ Forest Hills Stadium, 9/30/2018
Light Years
The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness
Walk It Back
Sea of Love
Mistaken for Strangers
Squalor Victoria
Dark Side of the Gym
This Is the Last Time
I’ll Still Destroy You
Turtleneck
Green Gloves
All the Wine
The Geese of Beverly Road
Slow Show
Pink Rabbits
Graceless
So Far Around the Bend
Fake Empire

Encore:
Maybe Not (Cat Power)
Brainy
Terrible Love
About Today
Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks

Setlist: Future Islands @ Forest Hills Stadium, 9/30/2018
Ran
Beauty of the Road
A Dream of You and Me
Time on Her Side
Walking Through That Door
Long Flight
Ancient Water
Cave
Seasons (Waiting on You)
Tin Man
Spirit

Setlist: Cat Power @ Forest Hills Stadium, 9/30/2018
He Turns Down
Horizon
Robbin Hood
Woman
Into My Arms (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds)
Me Voy
Cross Bones Style
Manhattan
Wanderer

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