02 October 2007

My Mind's Not Right

The day after the recently chronicled adventure at Red Rocks, Kyality, Mrs. Kyality and Mrs. upto12 all made their way back to the Salt Lake valley. I, on the other hand, had some business to attend to in the heart of Denver. The National (along with startlingly awesome opener St. Vincent) were in town for the night and — seeing as Alligator and Boxer are two of my top 10 albums of the last five years — there was no way I could miss out.
It only took 45 seconds to scalp my three extra tickets (at face value, of course...) and I was parked right up front in the historic venue. The Ogden is a nice place, the kind of place Salt Lake could use. Probably a touch smaller than the Depot and much, much classier than In the Venue or the pitiful Urban Lounge. If you care to know, Feist and the Swell Season will be there on back-to-back nights sometime in November.

At any rate, the crowd was energetic, yet polite — my type of people — and Annie Clark (St. Vincent) got things rolling with beats built for a dance party and a boatload of guitar antics. I was unsettled by her performance. She's such an unassuming performer...not in a hundred year would you guess that such a demure, soft-spoken (and, yes, pretty) girl would knock your socks of with bass and manic guitar licks all mashed up and sprinkled with a voice as powerful as any you'll hear in a while. But the surprise was not unwelcome. By the end of her set, I was a believer. And I wasn't alone.
This late in the game, there's little to say about the National. Critics love 'em. Hipsters call their latest albums "growers," but I disagree completely. The songs of the National instantly find their way under my skin. It's an immediate addiction. It started with Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers, evolved with Alligator and, now, with Boxer, I'm a fullblown junkie looking for a daily fix. I can't get enough of Matt Berninger's baritone lyrical fits and repetitions.
This confession renders any objective review of the show unnecessary and invalid. I loved it. The band warmed up quickly and delivered a non-stop set that rarely strayed from the better-known tracks found on the last two albums.

A madman nearly destroyed a violin.
The drummer looked more Muppet (Animal, even, how perfect is that?) than human.
And I brought home a few bits and pieces for the stalwarts, the remaining 14 upto12 readers (you're dropping like flies at this point and I don't blame you).

Start a War

Secret Meeting

Daughters of the Soho Riots

2 comments:

Dainon. said...

This review forced me to buy Feist tickets. Thank you.

asdf;lkj said...

I didn't know how else to ask this question, how much did you pay for the radiohead album? Just wondering if diehard fans are paying way more than is necessary.