Strong as the San Diego Street Scene lineup was, there was little doubt that seeing the National was my main event. (Side note: After Black Crowes canceled as the Saturday headliner, why not bump the National into that role instead of adding an old, withering Devo? Seriously, now. Devo?)
There’s really little doubt at this point — my fourth time seeing the National (though not once in my own home state) — that this is my favorite band, though I take some exception to the group all but abandoning pre-Alligator songs in its live set. At least give me Murder Me Rachael.
For what it’s worth, singer Matt Berninger looked like your college geology professor when they took the stage in San Diego — dark-rimmed glasses, navy blazer. It all looked very studious, until, of course, he became a tad unhinged during Abel.
For a more composed picture of Berninger, check out these performances from the Bandwidth podcast (via Stereogum). Here, Berninger remains calm — perhaps because he’s in a kitchen? — wearing dark glasses, like he’s singing himself out of a hangover.