Secret Meeting, Pt. 2:
The National’s High Violet Live

The National Perform High Violet at The Bell House March 13, 2010

This is gonna be short ’cause I wanna spend some time thinking about last night’s killer opening act Buke + Gass, (scroll down).

The National’s second night at The Bell House treated it’s lucky audience to a tighter, more controlled performance of the band’s forthcoming LP High Violet (in stores May 11). Which is not to say that the band didn’t let loose. Matt especially took his now- familiar plunge into the audience during “Mr. November” one extra step, challenging his stage crew as he pushed the limits of his mic cord to find his wife seated in a reserved nook next to the sound board. Clutching her lovingly, he screamed the tracks mantra once, twice, three times a lady before traipsing back on stage for the song’s finale.

It’s this kind of performance that whips their fans into a frenzy. The stable catalog of songs performed last might was greeted with predictable cheers and affection. But High Violet’s tracks have yet to see the formal light of day, leaving the audience challenged to hook in to the new material’s denser, less song-y structures. The audience’s relative lack of energy during these tracks definitely reflected on the band as they reached to make an impression that has yet to be cemented. But relax boys. Give ‘em a few listens more and they’ll be eating out of your hands the whole set through.

all images Canon G11 | ©

The National's Bryce Dessner

The National's Matt Berninger and Aaron Dessner

The National's Scott Devendorf