The National has been around for a while, since the late 90s, releasing the first full length album in 2001, but I really didn’t start listening to them until their album “Boxer” (which is still my favorite The National album), which was released in 2007. Since then, I’ve been high on their music and their melodramatic, punk, indie rock sound. They released “Trouble Will Find Me” in 2013, and I was really hoping to get tickets to see them perform live, having heard that it was a great show to catch. I knew that they were schedule to perform two concerts in Los Angeles, at The Greek and the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, but as fate would have it tickets had sold out before I had the chance to purchase them. Scouring the web for tickets through sites like Stubhub and Barry Tickets, tickets, even for the nosebleed seats, were in the triple digits, and a little more that I wanted to spend.
Fast forward to the Saturday eve they were playing at The Greek, I was having drinks at my watering hole, when a couple sitting next to me starting talking about the tickets they had for the Sunday show at the cemetery. I was about to lament about the fact that I didn’t get tickets, when a friend of mine, who I have been having drinks with for years at the bar, mentioned that The National was the featured artist for Jimmy Kimmel Live, August 12, and would be performing a mini-concert as part of Jimmy Kimmel’s summer concert series.
I jokingly asked if he could sneak me in, and to my surprise he said that he worked on set for the late night talk show, and offered that if I wanted to go, even though tickets were no longer available, he would sneak me in for the concert. How ironic that after 10 years of seeing him, and having drinking with him, in the bar I only now discovered what he did for a living… I took him up on the offer.
Having negotiating a $20 parking fee to $10 in Hollywood, I walked over to the alley he told me that he would meet me at. Without having to go through security, he led me to the concert area and left me to devices. Unaware that I wasn’t allowed to bring a camera into the concert area, I was able to take a few pictures with my camera before security told me to put it away.
The National played 5 songs, but at the end of the day, it was better than never having seen them at all. Looking at the set lists for their shows at the Greek and Hollywood Forever, I was still envious that I wasn’t able to get those tickets, but beggars can’t be choosers, and I was extremely grateful that I have friends willing to hook me up every once and a while. The set list for Jimmy Kimmel was as follows:
- This is the Last Time
- Don’t Swallow The Cap
- Sea Of Love
- Pink Rabbits