The National at the Fox Theatre Pomona – Photo Gallery & Review

October has been a month doused with some of the best shows LA and its surrounding areas have seen and The National’s extraordinary performance at the Fox Theatre Pomona last Saturday, October 16, was no exception. Of the many times I’ve seen The National take center stage and move us with their fascinating sound, this show by far was the best performance I’ve seen them put on.

Kicking off this special evening of music was Owen Pallett (formerly Final Fantasy). This lil Canadian fellow is quite the genius when it comes to conjuring up some majestic sounds on his violin. To read the full review of his performance and to view the photo gallery, click here. Now on to the main course, The National.

With five studio albums under their belt, Brooklyn transplants, The National, have been commanding our hearts for some time now and their performance at the Fox Theatre in support of their new album “High Violet” was extraordinary. Setting the themed tone with a vibrant backdrop of a changing display of “violet” hues, the evening began with the lovely serenade that is “Runaway.” Front-man Matt Berninger’s charming deep vocals sent chills up my spine (although I, along with every lady in the room wished they were tender kisses) as the soft guitar chords and steady drum beats hypnotized everyone in the theatre, I knew we were in for something special.

Gracing us with an overload of emotion and joy with 19 songs of aural bliss, The National played every single stellar song from “High Violet” and a tantalizing selection of old treats. Berninger’s haunting vocals sent a train of emotion through anyone with a heartbeat. Especially when “Terrible Love” burst out of the stage along with Berninger himself taking his second stroll into the audience. Some musicians often walk out amongst the crowd, but Berninger set the bar for a crowd crawl. Coming through as though he were Moses parting the red sea, Berninger just about covered the entire bottom floor of the theatre. Hands were flailing through the air and fans tried to touch him as he passed through. It was truly something breathtaking, even more so to the tune of “Terrible Love.”

Another song that really did a number on me along with the crowd was “Conversation 16.” Dedicated to his wife, the creepy line “I was afraid, I’d eat your brains/”cause I’m evil” is one of the most beautiful choruses to hear live. Although it may seem nefarious, it’s quite the opposite and genuinely beautiful.

With the concert coming off like a serious, I’m gonna cry -type-of-show, our emotions were definitely on edge, but Berninger and the band were actually quite the comedians making random comments that just put a smile on your face and engaged a chuckle. From remarks about the US’ favorite allie in “England,” to the introductions of each band member, The National kept our spirits high.

Closing up the set with a four-song encore, The National impressed us with a lovely acoustic sing-along of “Vanderlylle Crybaby Geeks.” God damn it was beautiful and literally unified everyone in the theatre. Sending us off with feelings of love and admiration, we bid farewell to one of the greatest shows of 2010 (maybe even beyond). As we ventured to our cars for the drive home, my boyfriend and I opted for silence and turned the car stereo off. The National was still on repeat in our heads and we didn’t want anything to interfere with such a memorable experience.

Check out the photos and video of The National at the Fox Theatre Pomona below!

Words: Sandra Burciaga

Photos: Wei Shi

The National at Fox Theatre Set List

Anyone’s Ghost
Mistaken for Strangers
Bloodbuzz Ohio
Slow Show
Squalor Victoria
Afraid of Everyone
Conversation 16
Apartment Story
Daughters of the Soho Riots
Fake Empire

All the Wine
Mr. November
Terrible Love
Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks (Unplugged)


8 thoughts on “The National at the Fox Theatre Pomona – Photo Gallery & Review

  1. Pingback: Hollywood Bowl Presale: Serge Gainsbourg Tribute, The National, Neko Case & More « Grimy Goods

  2. Pingback: Grimy Goods Best Concert Photos of 2010 « Grimy Goods

  3. Pingback: Grimy Goods Staff Picks: Top 10 Shows of 2010 « Grimy Goods

  4. Pingback: New Video: “Terrible Love” (Alternate Version) by The National « Grimy Goods

  5. Brandon S.

    I knew I could count on you guys for a proper review and photos. Bonus with the video! The National is my all time favourite band and I was away the past month traveling. I just arrived yesterday and I was so sad that I missed The National. Brilliant review! Although it makes me rather sad I missed the show.

  6. Kara

    Show of the year for sure! I enjoyed The National far better than Arcade Fire’s show!!!! Which was also amazing. But The National was just out of this world! Nice photos and write up!

  7. drewtheyours

    I can’t believe how fucking amazing, and emotionally stunning this show was. I keep thinking about it, wishing I was still there. Such powerful, and moving songs that at times seem to reach right inside of me and embrace my soul with a warm, loving hug. Truly one of the best show i’ve ever been to. The National are masters of their craft, and then some.

    An excellent, and very accurate review with great photos that give life to my cherished memory of this show. Good stuff through and through!

    Thanks GG!

  8. Pingback: Owen Pallett at the Fox Theatre Pomona – Photo Gallery & Review « Grimy Goods

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.