Annoyingly it took longer than expected to get in, and also the first band I wanted to see had their time moved back from 4pm to 3:45pm, so missed part of the set of Public Service Broadcasting. And we were miles back so could only see the big screens. But we had gathered 3 of our expected group of 5, and Andy is always late. So I thought we had done well. They were also advertising a date at the Royal Albert Hall in November. So intend to see them a little closer up on that one!
The thing you have to give to the nonathletic tubby lead singer Samuel T Herring is he puts everything into his performance. Its a bit like watching one of those American TV evangelists. He almost works himself up into tears. It is odd, but brilliant too.
Note beginning of performance, nice fresh blue shirt.
A bit of twerking, as you expect from a tubby middle-aged guy...
Anyway, the four of us didn't regret it. Were about two people from the front, which is rather an achievement when there was eventually a crowd of 20,000.
Not easy to describe the National. Definitely a rock band, liberal, songs seemingly getting slower as time has gone on - they have been around for nearly 20 years. Lead vocalist Matt Berninger provides a strange stage presence compared to Sam Herring. Much more laid back, as is the vocal style, he seems just to wander around casually leaving the band to do all the hard work, but then briefly ventures into a passionate chorus here and there.
Matt finished up directing the crowd in singing Cry Baby. He didn't sing at all, but left the audience to do it all. Not sure I approve of this. I paid my money for him to sing, not me.
Anyway, this was a storming set which we wouldn't have wanted to miss. We left very happy (only marginally tainted by the 15 minute walk to Mile End tube taking nearly an hour to navigate with the crowd.)