Sunday, September 26, 2010

Show Review - The National - Carnegie Library Homestead - 9/25/10 - Pittsburgh - Live Review - Concert Review

The National played last night at Carnegie Homestead Library. As usual, they put on an amazing set. I won't go into too much detail here, but if you enjoy their music, they are even better live. Owen Pallett was the opener for the show. Before his set I didn't know Owen P. from a ham sandwich. All I can say is I swear Andrew Bird was playing on stage. Pallett did everything Andrew Bird does: plucking his violin, setting a loop that plays later on in the song, having one assistant member, etc. Although, as one of the twitters said, he didn't whistle. I am not sure who was ripping off who (Pallett is from England), but these two sounded exactly the same. I lasted 3 songs before going to get another beer outside.

I have stated this before, but for creating the most melancholy music imaginable, The National definitely know how to translate it live. The past couple of times I have seen them in an open setting, never a seated venue. At first it was a bit stale as audience members were politely sitting. After a couple of songs the band encouraged everyone to stand which brought the show to the level it was intended. Broken Social Scene should really take note.

The band plays with such a focused intensity, that I wonder how they are able to pull it off night after night. They have added a string and horn section which I saw at Lollapalooza. It definitely adds to their sound and brings an added quality to their live setting. They also have mixed in the proper banter with various members taking time to address the crowd. They mentioned how they used to play in Pittsburgh to 4 people at Club Cafe. It would have been a treat to see them there. They also mentioned how they are from Cincinnatti which I found a bit amusing since every other time I have seen them they always state they are from Brooklyn. Is that some type of publicity stunt? The closing song of the night saw lead Matt Berninger climbing into the audience, walking over each row of seats, while belting out lyrics. He ended up disappearing in the lobby ending the night. Surely will be in the top 10 shows I have seen for the year.

Plenty of video here: youtube channel


  1. hey do you know about what time the national went on? we are seeing the show tonight in Chicago. If you can post back, I would really appreciate it!!

  2. They said they were from Cincinnatti, because they are originally from Cincinnatti. They are based in Brooklyn now.

  3. Definitely one of my fav shows of the year! Didn't get the chance to fully enjoy them at Bonnaroo- Glad I went last night! They went on at 9:15 and were on for about an hour and a half.

  4. one of my top 5 shows this year! i was amazed at the energy considering it was a seated venue and the type of music they play. i also saw broken social scene at the byham and was disappointed- i definitely agree that they can learn from the national!!
    would for sure see them again- loooooved the show