Elysian Fields | The National @ Bowery Ballroom

With different openers on each of the five nights, I felt this night had the best one with Elysian Fields. I’ve seen this band at much smaller venues, so Bowery would have been a challenge for their quiet sexy rock. Jennifer looked amazing in her glittery dress and played some good songs to a decent crowd. Although 2 of the band members had berets on, they complimented the sultry voice that came from the stage. The highlight was when they covered the Pixies “Monkey Gone to Heaven”. Before the song finished, Jennifer never said good-bye, picked up her purse and quietly left the stage. wtf.

I’m so glad that The National chose to play multiple nights at the better sounding Bowery Ballroom than at Webster Hall. It makes up for the venue switch they pulled on us last year. I’m not surprised they sold out all 5 nights.

So I knew this would be one of the quieter nights from The National, and starting off with “Start a War” would set the tone for the rest of the evening. They played many new songs off their latest The Boxer and the sound was good despite being heavy on the bass. I’m still surprised how much this band has matured through the years. Although The Boxer isn’t doing anything new and not pushing the band in any new directions, it’s a very solid album with some really good gems. The musical compositions are more rich and lyrically more beautiful. But this band really shines live especially on songs like “Mr. November”, “Abel” and their new song “Squalor Victoria“. Towards the end of their set, what seems like the trend now at Bowery, Matt jumped down to feed off the crowd during an emotional rendition of “Abel”. They played for over and hour and not a dull minute.

Pictures and video from the show.

Stereogum was there, so was You Nork.
The National