By Amelia Reardon, Contributing Writer
Last Saturday, in the romantic setting of the Forest Hills Stadium, The National yet again graced the audience with their hauntingly beautiful music. In the light of the setting sun, their opener, Daughter, gave a prelude to the somber atmosphere of the night with melancholy songs, such as “Burn It Down” and their hit “Youth”, performed as fog clouded the stage.
After several minutes in between sets, the screens cut to a grainy video of the outside of the arena. Slowly figures began to walk towards the camera and the stadium began to shake with the cheers of the crowd as people began to recognize the figures as Matt Berninger, Bryce Dessner, Aaron Dessner, Bryan Devendorf, and Scott Devendorf. This deafening roar amplified as the band took the stage and the calming sound of “Nobody Else Will Be There” began to drift through the air. Following with a more upbeat tune, The National played “The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness” and the scene quickly changed from a calm melancholy show to Matt jumping on the speakers and screaming the lyrics in the crowd’s face. But, if one is familiar with The National you will know that this high energy is a rarity, and soon the audience was yet again met with the soothing and dark lyrics of songs such as “Guilty Party,” “Afraid of Everyone” and the ever romantic “I Need My Girl.”
Throughout the show, front man Matt Berninger showed off his humorous personality that juxtaposed with his ominous lyrics. Dancing around the stage to the more cheerful songs as well as calling out an ex-fling who happened to be in the crowd, he showed the side of him most fans are familiar with in his other project EL VY.
After the 19th song (“About Today”) the band left the stage to the reluctance of the crowd, as they had yet to play their most known song, “Terrible Love”); but after many minutes of the audience’s desperate cries, their wish was granted. After playing “Pink Rabbits” and a cover of The Ramones’ “The KKK Took My Baby Away”, the greatly-requested ballad filled the air. Finally, after closing with “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks,” the stage was left vacant and the audience left eager for the return of The National.