The National at the Pageant

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The National's merchandise, for sale at Suite 100.

Before a high violet curtain (not a metaphor) and a blacked-out stage, the National walked out to an overture, Neil Young's "On the Beach," readying their instruments precisely at the lines "I need a crowd of people, but I can't face them day to day." Often, vocalist Berninger didn't, turning instead to the drum riser to crouch and howl at a kick-drum microphone that refused to thump at his command. He ran on and off stage, either to give the sound crew a whipping or just to fill his glass. Continue reading Roy Kasten's review of The National at the Pageant. Photos by Jason Stoff.