They are, unquestionably, one of the best bands in New York City (if not all of the world), so earlier this month, when the National took their impressive stage show over to NYC's Webster Hall for a surprise gig, MTV had to have its cameras there.
The end result was, much like all National sets, a compelling, cathartic bust of high-collar angst, and on Monday, you can see for yourself, when "MTV Live: The National" premieres on MTV.com.
Shot on five cameras, the set features the band tearing through material from their last two albums, 2007's Boxer and last year's High Violet, and five of those songs — "Bloodbuzz Ohio," "Afraid of Everyone," "Conversation 16," "Fake Empire" and "Terrible Love" — are featured on "MTV Live."
"We're not that concerned with reproducing the record version of a song live. ... Just playing onstage in front of people in a room changes the way a song feels, changes the way we perform it," frontman Matt Berninger said before the taping. "The adrenaline kicks in, so I think live we are more reckless and ramshackle and probably louder and faster."
And he wasn't kidding. The National's set was plenty loud (and plenty fast), and fans can watch the entire thing build to a boil — and subsequently bubble over when Berninger threw himself into the spastic audience during "Terrible Love" — starting Monday, with the premiere of "MTV Live: The National" on MTV.com. Trust us, you won't be disappointed.