The National – Gotta Vote Event at The Emery Theatre

I’m not one to get very excited about political events… unless one of my favorite bands is playing one at the most beautiful venue in Cincinnati.  In that case I get very excited.  On Thursday October 4, 2012 The National played an event called Gotta Vote in support of President Barack Obama.  The event started with a few student volunteers reminding everyone to register vote and encouraging the crowd to vote early.  The National was then introduced to excited applause of the 750 in attendance.  Whether or not everyone was an Obama supporter or not, I don’t know.  What I do know is that they were definitely supporters of The National.  The first notes of every song drew the applause and approval of a crowd who definitely knew their music.  Matt Berninger was at his baritone best as he belted out song after song, interspersed with a little banter and Obama support.  The show itself though, was not heavily political.  A few references here and there about how privileged we are to have the opportunity to vote , but certainly more of a concert than a political rally.

Being originally from Cincinnati, this show was a bit of a homecoming as they hit the stage at the historic Emery Theatre.  The Emery is one of only a few acoustically pure theatres in the US and Berninger and crew put it to good use by stepping to the front of the stage to close the night with an unplugged acoustic version of Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks.  Their harmonies and acoustic guitar soared through the theatre as the crowd gave their respectful silent approval.  It was truly a night to remember as Cincinnati’s own graced the stage of the resurrected gem that is The Emery Theatre.

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Brian Bruemmer