Better Than: Most of what I associate with the term "arena rock"
On May 21st, the National played three New York shows of increasing size to celebrate the release of their new album Trouble Will Find Me. It started with a lunchtime set at the Ditmas Park bar Sycamore, continued with an evening stop at Public Assembly, and concluded with a packed show at Mercury Lounge. The choice was no accident. Speaking to a room of diehard fans, the band reminisced about the importance of the Mercury Lounge, a small but famous venue that holds about 250 people. Frontman Matt Berninger recalled how they played there over 10 years ago and nobody came. It was a funny way to celebrate: return to a place you mark as an important but also embarrassing part of your rise, around the time you have perhaps reached the peak of your powers.More »