This evening should be one for the books for those who like their music a few shades deeper. Melancholic epic rockers The National are set to play the Riverside tonight in follow up of their much-lauded new release High Violet (watch the video for single “Bloodbuzz Ohio” *here*). The originally Cincinnati-based, but currently Brooklyn-based group first struck notice with folks for their 2005 and 2007 releases Alligator and Boxer despite playing together since 1999. The band’s current album is listed at number three on the U.S. charts — their persistence has paid off, and it’s not hard to absorb the reasons for the group’s climb. Singer Matt Berninger’s distraught, whiskey-drowned-yet-tuneful vocals are the real hook, which hone in on his poignant lyricism and rides on Bryan Devendorf’s superb drumming.
Not too far away, Mad Planet will play host to fellow Brooklynite Phosphorescent, for The National’s official after-party (National show-goers will receive discounted admission to Phosphorescent with their ticket stubs). As winsome as a sparkling step dance line full of jeans, boots and crinolines, but as dark as hearts blackened by the poetry of tragedy, Brooklyn’s Phosphorescent’s nice-but-dirty appeal is tangibly much like that of their hero Willie Nelson. Phosphorescent’s guitarist/vocalist Matthew Houck spins droll tales with his simple croon much like Nelson but likes his ballads even more fancied up with pedal steel, horns, dusty piano and plenty of vocal harmonies. The booze and the broads, the juxtaposition of meandering thoughts and dull reality all tangle up in modern day folklore spun by a man trapped in modern day society. Check out the video, above.
The National plays the Riverside Theater (116 W. Wisconsin Avenue) tonight at 8 p.m. w/ The Antlers. Phosphorescent plays at Mad Planet (735 E. Center) w/ J. Tillman (of Fleet Foxes) and Mark Waldoch. Phosphorescent will take the stage at Mad Planet after the National show has concluded.