Two weeks ago, The National held a concert at the Brooklyn Academy of Music to raise money for the Red Hot organization. Legendary documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker recorded the show for a live stream on YouTube. The show was awesome and the band sounded great, but the crowd was curiously dead, despite the fact that The National was on their home turf. I write it up to the fact that these tickets were so difficult to get that only the big BAM supporters could get ahold of them - sort of like how the Super Bowl and Final Four crowds are never as much fun as the "Murph and Sully"-type crowds that show up for rivalry games during the regular season.
During two songs, "Bloodbuzz, Ohio" and "Mr. November," lead singer Matt Berninger went into the audience to sing with the crowd.Anyway, the curiously subdued crowd (and a too-short microphone cord) combined to make them two of the most awkward going-into-the-crowd stunts of all-time. At one point in "Bloodbuzz, Ohio" he takes a woman's hand and gets her up to dance, and she SITS BACK DOWN. During "Mr. November," Berninger gets up on a chair to sing, and falls over. Its really, really awkard. But that's part of the reason we love The National - they're not Cool Kids, they're not really rock stars, they're just regular guys who sing great songs about the claustrophobia of living in New York and relating to your friends and lovers as you learn to be an adult.
The band has also posted "Director's Cut" versions of Bloodbuzz, Ohio and Mr. November.