Over the weekend, The National staged their inaugural, two-day New York music festival, There’s No Leaving New York. The event, which took place at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, boasted performances from the likes of Cat Power, Phoebe Bridgers, Future Islands, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, and Bully. The National also gifted the crowd with not one, but two sets, which were filled with fan favorites as well as a number of surprises.
The indie rock veterans’ Saturday set spanned a total of 21 tracks, including “Guilty Party”, “Empire Line”, and “Bloodbuzz Ohio”. Most notably, The National brought out special guest Bridgers, a former Consequence of Sound Artist of the Month, to assist on both Trouble Will Find Me cut “I Need My Girl” and High Violet selection “Sorrow”. They also dusted off “About Today”, off their 2004 record Cherry Tree.
As for Sunday, The National packed in a 23-song set that featured “Light Years”, “Sea of Love”, “I’ll Still Destroy You”, and “Fake Empire”. The major highlight was found in the group’s encore, which saw Matt Berninger & co. cover “Maybe Not”, taken from my personal favorite Cat Power album, 2003’s You Are Free. (The National released a studio version of this cover late last year as part of a Spotify Singles session.) For their penultimate song, The National again did “About Today”, but this time dedicated the performance to Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison, who died this past May.
Below, watch fan-caught footage.