It’s not a small feat to sell out concert venues these days, especially Chicago’s 3,000-plus capacity Riviera Theatre. Many high-profile acts have failed to fill the venue during recent summer shows, however the National, New York’s indie quintet, had no problem in doing so recently. With this being their third show in Chicago in two months, for the band to continue to fill venues is really a testament to the musicianship and solid performance that you can expect from them live.
The band, dressed in suits as usual, opened up with the eerie and somber “Runaway” from their latest album, High Violet. With a directed spotlight on crooner Matt Berninger, all eyes stayed on him as he captivated the audience with his stirring baritone.
The evening’s setlist seemed to have a focus on tracks from High Violet, with nine of the 18 songs performed being from the album, with tracks such as “Afraid of Everyone”, “Sorrow”, and “Terrible Love” being performed. For the encore, the band came back out to end the evening with “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks”, “Mr. November”, and “Terrible Love”.