By: Derek Jung
As with any election season, many celebrities and bands have voiced their opinions for any who are willing to listen. The National have, throughout their career, been very vocal supporters of Democratic candidates. Four years ago, they played a "Get Out The Vote" concert in support of President Obama's reelection campaign at the historic Emery Theatre in downtown Cincinnati, and eight years ago they played on Fountain Square for the same cause. This year, they returned in support of Hillary Clinton at Washington Park.
Despite little advertising outside of their social media pages, a moderately large crowd gathered on an unseasonably warm November evening in Cincinnati. After a few speeches in support of the Democratic platform, including one by National Treasure and Hangover star Justin Bartha, The National took the stage to a surprisingly less than enthusiastic crowd. In fact, this was a theme throughout the show - a general lack of energy and excitement for a free show from one of the biggest indie rock acts in the world. Frankly, it was a little disappointing.
The band played well though, despite having muted guitars in the sound mix. Since they haven't released any new material since 2013's Trouble Will Find Me, their setlist was pretty standard. I was particularly excited that they played "About Today" from 2004's Cherry Tree EP; it's one of my favorite live compositions by the band and always a thrill to experience the slow build and glorious finale. Part of me was hoping for "Peggy-O" or "Morning Dew" from their fantastic Grateful Dead covers box set Day of the Dead that was released earlier this year, but no such luck was had. Lead singer Matt Berninger was light of the political discourse during the set, but jokingly tried to make connections with some of the song titles. While some would argue that there isn't much hope left in this election, I have hope for a new National album in 2017.
Check out the full setlist below and watch a local news segment on the concert. Yours truly makes an appearance in a plaid shirt around 1:24.
Don't Swallow the Cap
Sea of Love
I Need My Girl
This Is the Last Time
Who are we?
Derek Jung and Joseph Kathmann -- Just two ordinary (debatable) guys that love talking about music. You can read more about us here: