Hipsters! They vex our culture like a plague. Their irony and fixation on being as indie as possible only add to our generation’s reputation for being worse than the hippies, the flappers, and the Nazis combined. They can also function as kingmakers, contributing to the popularity of whatever band/film/whatever until said thing eclipses their niche and goes on to mainstream success. Then they shun it.

So Monday night I was afforded a rare opportunity when I was on hand to see The National at the LC Pavilion in Columbus. The rise of The National is a typical one: they began in Brooklyn, they stuck around and paid their dues in the indie scene for much of the last decade, and this spring the release of “High Violet” catapulted them to mainstream success (no, your local KISS-FM isn’t playing any of their songs, but debuting at #3 on the Billboard 200 will suffice) and the future could possibly leave them as critical darlings on an MTV scale rather than Pitchfork. What I’m trying to say is these hipsters may just shun The National if they get any bigger, say they sold out, etc. So capturing this odd breed at this particular show was paramount.

Pictures are all credited to myself. Faces are blurred out to protect the innocent, and these are posted for humor/documenting an event. Still, should you see your likeness here and wish to have that removed, threaten us with a lawsuit at okconfucius@gmail.com.

vest and t-shirt combo. classic stand-by

???

click for more…

Dude in shirt and tie, under the impression he could be the band's mascot?

Somebody's dad #1

Somebody's dad #2, concluding the people who didn't want to be there interlude

I support the enslavement of negroes....ironically!!

Cut-off shorts. Of course that makes you look attractive.

It was only 90 degrees outside today. Just gonna pull on the old wool cap.

This would be a production still from an alternative universe version of The Hangover, set in Branson over Las Vegas.

"I didn't feel like wearing pants today!" One day we're going to realize what an awful trend this is.

Holy shit!!!!! A fanny pack!!!!

Would like to be a scenester, but not seasoned enough to know not to put the t-shirt on just after you buy it. Interesting.

Sorry bud. Vampire Weekend was here in March.

And Matt Berringer, likely intoxicated.

As for the actual concert, I’d term it a success.  Everyone I was with was under the impression lead singer Matt Berringer was drunk throughout the set, but oddly enough I wouldn’t term that a lack of professionalism. Rather it seems representative of The National’s music and the mood they convey, and if he had some really unremarkable sex afterward it’d only top off the personification.

There’d be some dead air in between songs at some points, so they’re probably not ready for a larger stage just yet. Other points they’d share the mic, telling some nervous stories and making dedications to whomever. But again, I think that’s their profile so no huge qualms on stage presence.

I’m more partial to “Alligator” and “Boxer” then “High Violet”, but I didn’t mind them playing the shit out of their latest release. It was beneficial to the crowd, since they knew the words to “Bloodbuzz Ohio” and “Afraid of Everyone” more so than “Squalor Victoria” or “Daughters of the Soho Riots”. Damn mainstream. Other than that though, they kept a good balance between the albums. Though like I said, there’s enough earlier songs to last into a second night (“Karen”, “Lit Up”, “The Geese of Beverly Road”, “Racing Like A Pro”….) Shit, I’d even say I wanted to hear “About to Die” after the drunk guy behind me shouted it out enough times.

So overall, an excellent performance by a band whose persistence is finally paying off. They seem to be at a crossroads with “High Violet”, so as you Look At These Fucking Hipsters, don’t disparage. Consider them potential artifacts for future nostalgia of a bygone era.

Marc