Concert Review: The National at the Paramount

We were lucky enough to attend the second show that The National hosted at the beautiful Paramount theater. The band that formed in 1999 was in town as part of their Sleep Well Beast tour in support of the band’s latest album released earlier this year. Alligator and Boxer are a couple of our favorite releases from the last decade and we were eager to catch some of the songs live for the first time.

The lights turned off in the full room and it was time for the band to take the stage. As the six members took their spots, three large monitor screens lit up behind them. They displayed multiple videos of vivid colors and graphics throughout the night perfectly matching each song they accompanied. It is always so great to catch an amazing lighting design as it adds so much character and mood to a show.

Singer Matt Berninger stood in the middle wearing a black suit as his glasses caught the reflection of the lights that focused on him. He comfortably put his hands in his pockets as well as using them to demonstrate his emotions through different lyrics. He calmly started the night with “Karen,” and “Nobody Else Will Be There,” as fans gave him their undivided attention.

He grabbed his red solo cup from time to time and took a sip as he chatted for a moment. He mentioned that he broke his shoe on the first night but he found a great place in Pike Place Market to get it fixed quickly. He stepped into the pit a few times interacting with the audience who absolutely adored him. Right before “I Need My Girl,” he mentioned that in 84′ – 85′ his sister Rachel brought home The Smiths for the first time and that changed his life, then he proceeded by dedicating the song to her. Try not to travel to another place in time when you hear the magical riff along with the wonderful lyrics of this song.

There was something about this performance that was so enchanting and peaceful, Berninger was really born to do this. It was for sure the right choice to leave his job in his thirties in order to do so. He sings with such ease that completely pulls you in and makes you wonder about every love you’ve ever had. The low key music does not seem repetitive or boring but new and intense every time. If you have not witnessed them live make sure to do so next time they’re around, you won’t regret it.

Check out more photos HERE.

Sophia Barkalakis

Music is probably the most important part of her life. Sophia is constantly searching for new material, old and new. Always looking forward to the next live show she can attend, ready to immerse herself in the sound. "There is something so magical about attending a live show that you cannot possibly feel from a recording itself that makes it worth going to", she says. She also says she's lucky to be able to combine her passion for music with her obsession of capturing moments. She finds that being able to look at a photograph and be transported to that second of your life is indescribable and she's so grateful for all those great moments.