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  1. #1
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    The National in Kansas City

    A paltry crew of 1,300 showed up at the historic Uptown Theater to take in The National last Wednesday, Sept. 29'th. It takes a lot to get the Clark's out on a Wednesday night but The National is one of the few that can manage it. An all ages show the crowd age ranged from 18-55. I know this since Mrs. Clark was there with me (and no, she's not 18). Brilliant show of sadness and despair brought to a crescendo of crashing guitars and a front man refreshingly devoid of typical rock star trappings. The place rocked.

    Setlist: The Runaway; Anyone’s Ghost; Mistaken for Strangers; Bloodbuzz Ohio; Brainy; Slow Show; Squalor Victoria; Afraid of Everyone; Available; Conversation 16; Apartment Story; Abel; Daughters of the Soho Riots; England; Fake Empire. Encore: All the Wine; Mr. November; Terrible Love.

    And that's the rub on this show. Having the complete catalog save for the first release, there were a lot of favorites absent from the set list, most notably, About Today. Luckily I have enough bootleg recordings that I can get the sense but the songs absence left me feeling a bit cheated. Other faves, like The Mansion On The Hill would have been nice but hey, when you love about everything they do there's gonna be omissions.

    Admitting upfront that I'm a non-musician I'd like to suggest that Bryan Devendorf is quite simply the best drummer out there right now. This guy is wicked good. I think he was trying extra hard on Wednesday since his drum kit maker C&C is located in KC I think he may have been auditioning for sponsorship dollars. It would be money well spent.

    The opener, some dude named Owen Pallet was unfortunately largely forgettable. He had talent but he is one of those guys who wants to be in a band by himself. He lays down a riff, records it, loops it and then repeats until he can do the song. It's a gimmick that is kinda neat at first but quickly gets old.
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the review, Jim. That's an awesome setlist overall, so I wouldn't feel cheated if I were you.

    High Violet is probably going to finish near the middle of my Top 10 list this year. And to your point, this is the first release from them that really made me take notice of the drummer. The guy brings something to the party, no doubt.
    Mr. MidFi
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  3. #3
    slightly, all the time jonnyhambone's Avatar
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    Thanx for your review/enthusiasm. I missed them when they were here (or they're about to play?...sold out either way). I'm blown away by his drumming too - I mean when he kicks it in on Fake Empire ?!..I hear more people talkin up the Walkmen's drummer but there's no comparison - he hits hard, fast and loud but those fills and 'stutters' that Devendorf? pulls off- awesome.
    Too bad Owen Pallett was a let down. I like his last album quite a bit but could see it not holding up live for too long - kind of a kickin it on the couch with headphones listen.

  4. #4
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr MidFi
    Thanks for the review, Jim. That's an awesome setlist overall, so I wouldn't feel cheated if I were you.

    High Violet is probably going to finish near the middle of my Top 10 list this year. And to your point, this is the first release from them that really made me take notice of the drummer. The guy brings something to the party, no doubt.
    Hear it's gonna be released in November in an expanded edition. Some alternative takes, live versions etc. Probably won't grab that one though. Kinda seems like a money grab. NOt that I thought they were above that, I just figured it wouldn't be quite so, you know, obvious!

    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  5. #5
    42 Regular
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Clark
    Hear it's gonna be released in November in an expanded edition. Some alternative takes, live versions etc. Probably won't grab that one though. Kinda seems like a money grab. NOt that I thought they were above that, I just figured it wouldn't be quite so, you know, obvious!

    jc
    If I'm gonna blow my dough on multi-disc money-grab reissue extravaganzas this fall, it'll probably be on the Station to Station and Darkness on the Edge of Town packages.
    Mr. MidFi
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  6. #6
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    NIce write-up Jim Bob.

    When I saw them about 2 years ago, Berninger had a head cold and there was no warm up band. It was kind of weird because they came out on stage unannounced and just went to it. There was never an explanation about the absence of an opener but that was fine by me, just a bit odd.

    That's a bummer that the crowd was a bit light, but I'm wondering how many that venue holds? I went to see Jason and the Scorchers last Thursday and there were maybe 150 people there, but probably less. The Sellersville Theater only holds about 300 or so, but it was still very empty. The show was excellent though, and you would never know the lack of a crowd by the way the band played. That damn Warner Hodges can play the crap out of a guitar.
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

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  7. #7
    3LB
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    cunning linguist 3LB's Avatar
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    High Violet has stayed in rotation since I had it. Top-5 for me as well. I came on board with Boxer, so I guess I should investigate some older stuff. I think some older comps got some Nation on them...
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