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Tropical Morning News: The National lives in Vienna

Tropical Morning News: The National lives in Vienna

The National currently plays all over the world, and of course will soon be playing in Austria. FM4 will hold its concert on 25 June 2024 at the Wiener Stadthalle.

Written by Lisa Schneider

There’s nothing stopping me now from saying all the painful parts out loud: Of course this announcement doesn’t hurt, but Matt Berninger’s best line is we’ll come back to it later, Will, it’s on the record.

Anyone who has seen The National live in the last few months already knows that this band is playing at their peak. Sophistication, style, pure ecstasy, everything that resonates in the heart and then there is no repetition, not even when two parties follow one another in the same city. The National are currently touring America again after some European shows, and the next tour will be next year. This band could currently write that on their flags or their red wine glasses: We know a lot, and we can do almost anything on stage.

There was a surprise in September, but not a big one, at least for fans: The National announced over the weekend that a new album (“Laugh Track”) would be automatically released – the previous one (“First Two Pages Of Frankenstein”) was six months old. Just.

There’s a lot of live material, and then the good kind too. At some point in the dictionary, the description “one of the greatest personal chroniclers of American pop music” will appear next to Matt Berninger’s name, but of course that alone is not enough to put on a good concert. What else is it supposed to be like, the band is up there, and we’re in front of the stage, if not briefly forgetting the pain of the world or at least getting through it together. The National have been there many times and are now often the band that offers the second option best, and this is exactly where we come up with the above issue.

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Matt Berninger is no Nick Cave, he’s too pretentious for that, nor Wayne Butler, he’s too quiet for that, but every now and then (on stage!) he borrows a little from both. The National’s best shows result in a grainy, turbulent chaos, a struggle with the microphone, the words and the hands extended from the front row. In life and on the stage of life, in the best-case scenario, the premise of attempts at communication and, above all, displays of understanding applies to some extent.

Maybe you’ve been there, most recently at a show by The National in Austria in 2018 as part of Ahoi! The total hit of the Summer Festival in Linz. It wasn’t really a great moment, but the very good thing was that I didn’t have to worry about it at all. Again, link to the top: She knows a lot, and can do almost everything. There has to be one hard-earned good point in a band’s resume where everything doesn’t matter and therefore everything is so much better. Playing together and getting along even behind the stage, writing together and sharing with the world, knowing what you want and what you don’t want, and how to write good songs in 2023, one might have once said “sad rock and roll”. Self-knowledge is a multi-year thing.

On June 25, 2024, The National will play a concert at the Stadthalle Vienna, and tickets will be available from November 17, 2023. So that’s seven and a half months of listening to the band’s catalog and then memorizing some great lines. If you love googling, just google the exact list of the latest shows and maybe you will definitely enjoy the beautiful moment when your breath quickens a little. Anyone who has written like The National picks the best, so we’re sure songs like “Demons”, “The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness”, “Rylan”, “Graceless” and of course the tearjerker. Listen to “Bloodbuzz Ohio”.

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It will be a celebration! A sad, bad, gently fun, wonderful celebration, and at the same time a rush around City Hall to see one, then the other Dessner twin and the whole band work their magic. Celebrate then, but let’s say it with Matt Berninger: Heaven presented me with a big slice of lemon.