To close out their final night of a six-night run at The Beacon Theatre, The National invited a few of their closest friends to the stage where they led a group sing-along of “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks” with the audience.
While talking to The Hold Steady lead singer Craig Finn at Rachael’s holiday party last weekend, I was reminded of this photo I took some years back. At this point in time, they had yet to release their third album, Boys and Girls in America, the album that would catapult them into stardom. They were performing at Columbia University’s annual Concert on the Steps though it would be indoors this year due to rain. That worked out great because the lighting indoors was great and the concert shots came out beautifully. I managed to get this shot of the band just moments before they hit the stage.
On the last night of Hannukah, which also coincides with the last night of the Yo La Tengo 8-night long residency at Maxwell’s in Hoboken – funny how that just works out, no? – The National was the special guest opener. The National. Opening and playing in a 200-person venue. That’s something I thought I’d never see since Boxer was released in 2007 and their star rose rapidly. As much fun as it was to see them here, it only made me long to see them again in a much larger venue so they can have their full orchestral backing and nifty light show as well as much better sound. But, you know what, I can’t complain because just a few weeks ago, I was thinking I wish I’d gotten to see them a second time this year and, just like that, problem solved.
I’ll admit I bought the ticket because I heard The National would be there that night. And while I don’t love Yo La Tengo, I do like them and they’re a good band to see live. A good set which ended with Ira wading into the crowd during their last song.
These photos were taken on December 8 and 9, 2010.