I Dream of Vinyl

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Concert Review – The National & The Beths at The Met, Philadelphia August 2nd 2023

The National kicked off the next leg of their tour for new album The First Two Pages of Frankenstein with two sold-out nights at The Met in Philadelphia. Supporting them on both nights were New Zealand indie-pop quartet, The Beths.

The Beths are from Auckland, NZ and feature Elizabeth Stokes (lead vocals, guitar), Jonathan Pearce (lead guitar), Tristen Deck (drums) and Benjamin Sinclair (bass). The night began inauspiciously as Tristan was unceremoniously attacked by a 15ft inflatable fish during their first song of the night. Thankfully, they were able to get over that initial scare and gave the growing crowd a rousing collection of anthemic pop, harmonious vocals and memorable riffs. Their set pulled heavily from last year’s excellent Expert In A Dying Field (which featured in our Best Albums of 2022) with an couple of tracks each from their debut album Future Me Hates Me and 2020’s sophomore record Jump Rope Gazers.

Highlights from a great set were “Jump Rope Gazers,” “Silence Is Golden” and “Head In The Clouds.” The band are releasing a deluxe version of Expert In A Dying Field in September which will feature bonus tracks as well as acoustic and demo versions of some of the songs.


  • 1. Future Me Hates Me
  • 2. Knees Deep
  • 3. Out of Sight
  • 4. Watch The Credits
  • 5. When You Know You Know
  • 6. Head In The Clouds
  • 7. Jump Rope Gazers
  • 8. Less Than Thou
  • 9. Silence Is Golden
  • 10. Expert In A Dying Field

The National took to the stage at 8:45pm and launched into a quartet of songs from the The First Two Pages. While the crowd were almost reverentially quiet during “Once Upon A Poolside,” the mood quickly changed during a raucous “Eucalyptus”. After “Tropic Morning News” the band promised that we’d be hearing a lot of older songs and they did not disappoint. At their upcoming Homecoming Festival in September, they will be playing High Violet and Trouble Will Find Me in full and their set contained 11 songs from those albums, including “Demons” which they haven’t played live since 2014.

Other highlights of the main set included the transition from “Humiliation” into “Murder Me Rachel” (from debut album The National) with Scott and Aaron swapping guitars and “Wasp Nest” (from the Cherry Tree EP). They also played a new track, “Space Invader,” which began as a normally paced National song only to burst into a cacophony of guitars, noise and feedback in the second half. The band have hinted that there is another album’s worth of material ready to release from the Frankenstein sessions and it will be interesting to see if those tracks are in a similar vein when compared with the relatively downbeat nature of the latest LP.

The encore featured a wonderful version of non-album track “Weird Goodbyes” as well as the band playfully ripping Matt for forgetting the lyrics to “Mr November” despite having played the track “over 400 times live.” It was their first gig in a while so fairly understandable. The night finished with the crowd, conducted by Matt, singing “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks” as the band, Ben Lanz and Kyle Resnick ditched the amps and played acoustically to round off another great gig with The National.


  • 1. Once Upon a Poolside
  • 2. Eucalytpus
  • 3. New Order T-Shirt
  • 4. Tropic Morning News
  • 5. Don’t Swallow The Cap
  • 6. Bloodbuzz Ohio
  • 7. Demons
  • 8. The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness
  • 9. I Need My Girl
  • 10. Conversation 16
  • 11. Humiliation > Murder Me Rachel
  • 12. Wasp Nest
  • 13. Alien
  • 14. Grease In Your Hair
  • 15. Space Invader
  • 16. Day I Die
  • 17. Pink Rabbits
  • 18. England
  • 19. Graceless
  • 20. Fake Empire
  • 21. Weird Goodbyes
  • 22. Mr November
  • 23. Terrible Love
  • 24. About Today
  • 25. Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks

Concert Photos – Kate Atkinson

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