The National visits Tulsa Theater on 2023 tour

tucollegian | Collegian
Matteson captures the energetic performance with featured photos.
Indie-rock band The National visited Tulsa for the first time on Nov. 16 during their 2023 First Two Pages of Frankenstein Tour at Tulsa Theater.
The National was started in Brooklyn in the early 2000s by lead singer Matt Beringer, brothers Aaron Dessner and Bryce Dessner, and brothers Scott Devondorf and Bryan Devondorf. The band developed during a time of garage rock revival, which is reflected strongly in their sound. If you are a fan of listening to bands like The Strokes, Arcade Fire, The Shins, Yeah Yeah Yeahs or Death Cab for Cutie, you will know The National.
Hand Habits, another indie-rock band, opened for The National. Hand Habits is a sole-member band created by Meg Duffy and has three albums. They debuted in 2019 with the release of “placeholder.” Their most recent album, “Fun House,” was featured during the performance, along with hits such as “Just to Hear You,” “4th of July,” “No Difference” and “Graves.” Hand Habits gave a gentle yet powerful performance that prepared the crowd to see The National’s set.
Seeing The National perform for two and a half hours was unique because of the range of the band’s music and a fanbase that knew every word. An eclectic setlist included songs from the tour’s title album, “First Two Pages of Frankenstein,” which was released in April, and their newest release “Laugh Track,” which debuted in September. They also included songs from “High Violet” and their 2005 album “Alligator,” among other popular releases. The setlist varies at each show, leaving fans surprised with new songs each time.
The band opened with the song “Once Upon a Poolside” and played fan favorites such as “Mr. November,” “Bloodbuzz Ohio,” “Pink Rabbits,” “Don’t Swallow the Cap” and “Fake Empire.” Beringer interacted with the crowd, often leaning down onto their level, shouting lyrics at them and dancing through the crowd until his corded mic could not reach any further. They ended the show with their signature acoustic performance of “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks,” and the audience sang along to every word. Seeing fans swaying and putting hands over their hearts, it was obvious just how much the audience valued their time listening to the band.
The Tulsa Theater, formerly known as Brady Theater, was a fitting atmosphere for engaging the crowd, who ranged in age from fans who had been listening to the band since their early 2000s albums to young adults who had recently begun listening. The band gained renewed popularity in 2020 with the release of Taylor Swift’s sister albums, “folklore” and “evermore,” which featured The National on several songs and in which Aaron Dessner collaborated with Swift to produce.
In addition, The National has recently worked with other well known artists such as Sharon Van Etten, Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens and Phoebe Bridgers, among others. The band did not perform any of their collaborations with these artists; however, they put on a captivating and memorable concert. If you ever have the opportunity to see them, do not miss your chance.
tucollegian | Collegian
tucollegian | Collegian
tucollegian | Collegian

Post Author: Peyton Matteson