ED2011 5/5 Reviews ED2011 Music Reviews

The National (The Edge Festival)

By | Published on Wednesday 31 August 2011

Critically acclaimed American band The National’s incredible concert was all wheat and no chaff. Matt Berninger’s mournful, whiskey-drenched baritone broke the stoniest of hearts during the slow-burning, majestic ballads from their fourth and fifth albums, ‘Boxer’ and ‘High Violet’, while he shouted like a man possessed during the defiant, raucous indie rock anthems from the group’s fledgling years. The dramatic, achingly beautiful love songs had lighter-waving and lung-bursting choruses in spades, but it was their faster, grittier material that literally raised the roof – during the deafening, spirited finale ‘Mr. November’, Berninger dislodged the ceiling tiles from a nearby offstage ledge and clambered into the darkness above. Inconsolable, gut-wrenching despair has never sounded so tearfully, wonderfully uplifting.

The Edge Festival at Edinburgh Corn Exchange, 23 Aug, 7.00pm (10.30pm), £22.50, fpp214.
tw rating: 5/5