What is the secret to The National? The indie rock quintet has been on the scene for nearly 20 years, but despite frequent visits to the Bay Area, their live performances never get old. Last fall, they headlined what we now know was the penultimate edition of the Treasure Island Music Festival. A few months later, lead singer Matt Berninger returned to a drastically smaller crowd at The Independent with his side-gig, EL VY. Now, The National is set to headline Berkeley's Greek Theatre for a show perched somewhere in the ether between the final run behind 2013's fantastic Trouble Will Find Me and the lead-up to their as yet-to-be-announced seventh studio album. In an interview with the Village Voice last November, Berninger spoke of the band's interest in playing new material live before recording it in the studio, so fans can expect to hear new cuts mixed in with perennial favorites like “Fake Empire” and “Bloodbuzz Ohio.” Perhaps that is the secret to The National's boundless appeal as a live act: They are never content to rely on what's come before. Embracing their sound of slow-burning disillusionment, a potent mix of melodies and triumphant turmoil, The National have given fans the gift of being able to witness their continued evolution firsthand.
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