Thursday, September 19, 2013

Frightened Rabbit and The National: Part I

On Sunday night, my friends Joey and Kaelin took me to see The National at the Orpheum in Madison, with opening act Frightened Rabbit.

I was excited for the opener because Joey was excited for the opener - he and I have very similar musical tastes, and I trust his opinion because he knows what he's talking about. He described them as very similar to U2, and lead singer Scott Hutchison said at the concert that they built their band with The National as a role model.

I don't remember what songs they played that night, but here's one I've enjoyed since then: Living in Colour, from their album The Winter of Mixed Drinks.

The National themselves were excellent. (Oddly comforting side note: the lead singer, Matt Berninger, wore glasses for the concert.) They had excellent sound throughout, with Berninger throwing in some interesting heavy-metal screams for certain songs (for example, at the end of Squalor Victoria - I hadn't thought about it, but their songs certainly have that heavier quality live). I think one of the most impressive aspects for me, though, was the brass - one person on trumpet and one on trombone. They were perfectly in tune, strong, and just as soothing as on the albums.

Before they began, Joey pointed out that their guitarists are identical twins, and the drummer and bassist are brothers, too, leaving Berninger as the sole band member unrelated to another. He's picked up nicknames like the Dark Lord for his pensive stage presence - most notable here at the end of Bloodbuzz Ohio.

(Stop by tomorrow for further thoughts on the concert.)

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