Last Night’s Concert: The National Play Secret Show in Brooklyn


On Monday, March 8, we were tipped off to the announcement of a “secret” show at The Bell House by indie darlings and Ditmas Park residents The National. Turns out it wasn’t so secret: the tickets sold out in under a minute. That’s a loyal fanbase for you. Thursday marked the first stop on a spring tour to promote the band’s forthcoming album High Violet, and promote they did, playing 11 new songs off the record in addition to crowd favorites like “Fake Empire” and “Slow Show” — dedicated to lead singer Matt Berninger’s wife, who co-wrote several songs on

and was stuck at home sick.

High Violet is out on May 11 — that makes 57 days for those of you who are, um, counting — but in the meantime, we’ve got (shaky) video from the concert plus a set list after the jump.

(Photo via Metromix)

Memorable moments: forgetting the beginning lines of “Start a War” because “What? That’s an old song,” the horn section breaking in on “Fake Empire,” Berninger fiddling with his new mike stand, and yes, the wifely dedication. Songs from the new album are starred below.

Set List for The National, Thursday March 11 at The Bell House

Blood Buzz* Sorrow* Ghost* Little Faith (Chromehorse)* Start a War Secret Meeting Afraid of Everyone* Lemonworld* Slow Show Apartment Story Runaway* Conversation 16* Abel England* Fake Empire Encore

(Photo via Metromix)

During the encore, the band debuted yet another song from High Violet called “Vanderlyle Crybaby,” followed by a rousing “Mr. November” in which Berninger went rogue, picking up a stage light while stalking through the audience, finishing the song crouched and yelling against a side wall. The last song of the night, the terribly catchy “Terrible Love,” debuted on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday — peep that live performance here.

The audio on this fan-filmed video sounds like shit, but trust me when I tell you how insanely beautiful it was live.