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The National - David Letterman and Matt Berninger in Conversation
The National : David Letterman and Matt Berninger in Conversation
8th December 2023

The National were asked to perform on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert for David Letterman’s first time back in the storied Ed Sullivan Theater since his farewell show in 2015, marking one of the most memorable TV moments in 2023. A relationship between the band and the storied late night host had been blossoming for years, with The National having performed on his show multiple times including their network television debut.

More recently, Letterman shared his love for the band, and specifically Matt Berninger’s lyricism, in a video on his YouTube channel, claiming he “wishes he could be Matt Berninger.”He started to pick Matt’s brain about songs and lyrics when he caught their show in New Haven this past summer, but it was only when the two sat down for a full conversation were they able to deep dive into song meanings, their shared experiences with depression, and their genuine mutual respect. 

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The National dropped not one but two new albums this year. First Two Pages of Frankenstein was released in April, followed by a surprise album Laugh Track in September, both on 4AD. Across two albums worth of new material they were joined by Phoebe Bridgers, Taylor Swift, Roseanne Cash, Bon Iver and Sufjian Stevens.

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Named one of their “Best Albums of 2023”, Rolling Stone called First Two Pages of Frankenstein ”...a remarkable reassertion of their potency and shared commitment…Nine albums deep, the National found new energy by conjuring not just a great, suffocating fog but also the far light that guides the way out.”

They were also named Forbes’s “Band of the Year”, with the article stating, “All The National did in 2023 was release two superb albums … have a brilliant sold-out tour, deliver the festival set of the year with their riveting performance at BottleRock and collaborated with the likes of Phoebe Bridgers, Swift and Sufjan Stevens. The National are so consistently great it becomes easy to take for granted they will be at the top of their game. But even by their lofty standards this was an incredible year.” And The New Yorker’s Amanda Petrusich named it as one of her favorites of the year, saying if you already like “what the National has been doing for the past two-plus decades - making brooding, fraught, atmospheric rock and roll, marked by careful, resonant production and a ribbon of debauched humor—you are likely to also savor First Two Pages of Frankenstein, a heady encapsulation of the band’s entire gestalt.”


24th - Spark Arena, Auckland, New Zealand
25th - Tsb Arena, Wellington, New Zealand 
28th - Riverstage, Brisbane, Australia ~

1st - Aware Super Theatre, Sydney, Australia ~'
2nd - Aware Super Theatre, Melbourne, Australia ~'
5th - Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne, Australia ~'
6th - Sidney Myer Music Bowl ~'
9th - Kings Park & Botanic Garden, Perth, Australia ~' 

2nd - Carroponte, Milan, Italty 
3rd - Cavea of the Auditorium Parco della Musica, Rome, Italy 
5th - Zanith de Paris, Paris, France # 
21st - Hurricane Festival, Scheeßel, Germany
22nd - Southside Festival, Neuhausen ob Eck, Germany 
24th - INmusic Festival, Zegreb, Croatia 
25th - Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria ^
27th - Kunst!Rasen, Bonn, Germany ^
28th - Live Is Live - Middenvijver, Antwerp, Belgium

2nd - Eden Sessions, Cornwall, UK #
3rd - Cardiff Castle, Cardiff, UK +
4th - Sounds of the City, Castlefield Bowl, Manchester, UK #
5th - Crystal Palace Park, London, UK #+!
11th - Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, UK ^

6th - Royal Arena, Copenhagen, Denmark 

% Hand Habits
~ Very Special Guests Fleet Foxes
` Annie Hamilton
# This Is The Kit
+ Unknown Mortal Orchestra
! Kevin Morby
^ Bess Atwell