The National – Live at the Marquee Cork – June 2013

1 Jul

The National: Pink Rabbits

The Day of the Gig
Friday Night saw the return of The National to our shores and this time I had tickets to their show. After missing both dates at The Olympia on their last visit and their visits to Dingle for Other Voices. I had been waiting months for this gig, booked the Friday off work and everything to get down to cork in time for the Nationals stage time of 8.30pm
So when my day went awry it wasn’t much of a surprise, in a morning where I managed to reverse into my girlfriends car and break her license plate (which I needed to replace before we drove the car down to Cork) and spent two hours waiting to get a haircut before doing a whole host of other errands that get piled up in a list for a day off from work. Safe to say I had intended to leave before 4.30pm when I actually left and of course leaving Dublin on a Friday anytime between 3pm and 6pm and you meet the magical traffic on every motorway that you can never find the source of. Traffic added about an hour and a half to the two and a half hour journey, add finding parking and checking into a hostel and you skip straight to me and my friends jumping out of a taxi at the venue to the sound of Bloodbuzz Ohio as we run towards the giant circus tent that makes up the venue. Running with tickets in hand and the girls handbags open to the bouncers eyes we made our way past ticket checks and to the tunnel connecting the entrance tent to the main venue as we ran down to the final chorus of Bloodbuzz Ohio the lights where flashing all along the sides of the blue and yellow plastic of the tent cover before emerging through the light at the end into full view of The National in full swing for an already energetic and excited crowd.

The National - Live at the Marquee Cork - June 28th 2013 - Credit Itsatangent

The National – Live at the Marquee Cork – June 28th 2013 – Credit Itsatangent

I hate being late for gigs but if I’m honest running into a venue to find a sight like that made for an even more epic gig. The National are probably one of the biggest bands in the world that not everybody knows. Being able to sell out a 4000 capacity venue in minutes while still only getting played on genre specific radio shows and stations is not easy especially when you consider they could probably sell it out twice.
We made our way as far into the crowd as possible trying to immerse ourselves in the atmosphere. I had all but given up on attending gigs bigger than that of the Olympia for the simple fact that the crowd in a lot of cases generally don’t care about most of the show other than the bands big single they heard on the radio (Arctic Monkeys in the o2 a few years back nothing but semi passed out drunken teenagers). Which happens in small venues to but to a lesser extent and usually you can get up nice and close to forget about them.

The Gig
The National however seem to draw a mixed crowd of all kinds but one unifying characteristic they come to see the show. This lead to probably the best atmosphere I’ve seen at a show in years and completely washed away all stress and rushed feelings from my series of unfortunate events that day. Quite simply this gig is exactly why I love live music from the moment I entered the crowd to the sound of Bloodbuzz Ohio to the moment I caught my breath after the acoustic version of Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks at the end of the show I was hooked to every note and every move The National made on that stage. I was impressed when at a Fionn Regan gig in Vicar Street he managed to sing acoustically to the silent crowd of a few hundred, the National did it to 4000. Highlights of the set were ‘secret meeting’ an older and much less played song which delighted the crowd of long time fans, before ‘Conversation 16’ lit up the crowd and started plenty of bouncing.

The National: Slow Show

A particular favorite of mine is Slow Show which with its beautifully crafted lyrics formed probably the best connection with the audience as the closing refrains of “You know I dreamed about you, for 29 years before I saw you” were sung, the audience supplied the backing piano line in full chorus with hands in the air across the crowd. Of course the set was closed with the fantastic fake empire before an encore.

The National: Fake Empire

Which Included Heavenfaced, Humiliation, Mr November, Terrible Love and the acoustic Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks.

The National: Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks

More posts on The National.


One Response to “The National – Live at the Marquee Cork – June 2013”


  1. Itsatangent Playlist Seventeen. Dec 2013. Best Of The Year. | Itsatangent - December 30, 2013

    […] Dec 2013. Best Of The Year. Feat: Come On Live Long, Sam Amidon, Chrvches, Bad Bones, Hozier, The National, John Grant, The Dying Seconds and so […]

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