This weekend saw The National headline both nights of their own ‘Homecoming Festival’ – where they performed their seminal album ‘Boxer’ in full as well as debuting new song ‘Light Years’.
Taking to the stage and curating the full line-up in their native Cincinatti, other acts to perform across the weekend included Future Islands and Father John Misty.
On the opening night, The National performed fourth album ‘Boxer’ in its entirety, assisted by Ben Sloan, Jan St Werner and Lisa Hannigan.
Then after a smattering of fan favourites spanning the rest of their career, the band returned to the stage for an encore that opened with brand new ‘Light Years’.
Leaning more towards the band’s sombre and esoteric side, the track is a dose of classic National aching melancholia – as Berninger pines for being lost alone, and far from a loved one.
The band’s closing set on the second night saw a more traditional set, ending on their standard if ‘High Violet’ staple ‘Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks’ played unplugged and acoustic, inviting a mass crowd sing-along.
“We’ve been in the studio,” frontman Matt Berninger told NME about progress on their next album. “We’ve been recording wherever we go. We had a bunch of stuff that we just recorded in Buenos Aires when we were in South America just because we had a day or so.We’ve been constantly just writing. Even before ‘Sleep Well Beast’ was done, there was already a bunch of stuff cooking, but when Trump won it just didn’t feel right for whatever reason. I can’t even tell you why. ‘Sleep Well Beast’ had the pivot when the world changed.
“We stayed in the kitchen. We don’t do that thing where we don’t talk to each other for months anymore. I don’t know what form or when this next album is going to come out, but we’ve been doing some other really interesting collaborations with people too. It’s all way more than halfway done.”
The line-up for The National’s headline show at All Points East Presents is below. For tickets and more information, visit here.
APE Presents… The National – Saturday 2 June
The War on Drugs
Public Service Broadcasting
Broken Social Scene
This Is The Kit