It was a big night for buzz band The National and the venue that held them Thursday night. What once was hot spot and former employer of actor Vin Diesel, New York City's club Exit, after being closed for sometime, NYC monopoly promoters "The Bowery Presents.." have transformed the one time E dropping club into one of the cities premiere new music venues. It was the grand opening of Terminal 5, the place many indie acts this fall will call home, and for the Ohio born via Brooklyn musicians The National they had to welcome everyone in. With fresh paint still on the walls and floors, the three story venue packed a 3,000 sold out crowd for the rising band.
My good friend Bill Reese and I had the chance to see The National open for The Arcade Fire back in May at United Palace Theater, yet the band we saw in May, was not the same band we saw Thursday night. The opened Thursday night with older songs from their catalogue, "Start a War," and then into "Slow Show," but for a band that is as moody as the Velvet Underground and as dark as Nick Cave, their live performance brightened their own songs more than any record could do justice. The band's latest Boxer, is a dark, heavy drum and bass record with singer Tim Berninger hunting vocals and unexplainable lyrics were brought to life. The National's latest single "Fake Empire," proved this when it was played right before the end of the first set. The bands show Thursday not only surprised the audience on how amazing these guys in concert, something no one would have expected from a dreary sounding band, but also how great of musicians they actually are. Live they are a mixture of their former touring mates Aracade Fire, with a bit of The Frames and early R.E.M., thrown in.
If The National's jaw dropping concert is any indication to what the rest of Terminal 5 will hold, be prepared for hipsters and music lovers making their way to the top of Midtown for a good time.