Is The National Boring?

is the national boring lg

The National may not be the most popular band, but they have built a loyal following. However, despite that, they aren’t known for being high-energy or putting on in-your-face shows. So is The National boring?

Here’s what I think, having seen them live and listened to their albums:

The National is far from boring. Their music has a quiet intensity with insightful and introspective lyrics, and they don’t sound like any other band. They also have a back catalog of great music that withstands the test of time.

Their music may not be for everyone, but that doesn’t make it any less great.

In order to illustrate how not boring The National is, I did a little research. Continue reading to get the details about how they perform in concert, their albums, as well as why some people hate The National.

Let’s get started.

Is The National a good band?

The National is a great band. They have a huge underground following, and they craft powerful, unique music and put on stellar live performances. But they are also versatile enough to have worked with Taylor Swift on 2 of her albums.

Because many people may not know The National, some may wonder if they are a good band. This is because they have been around a long time. Despite this, they are not as famous as many of their competitors.

However, they are, in fact, a really good band.

For one, they were chosen to perform for campaign rallies when Obama was running for President. 

That doesn’t happen to a band that’s not good, and I wrote all about it in a recent article. But are they a political band, and do their politics always swing to the left?

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Besides the connection with a popular modern president, The National has many accolades to prove their greatness. They have even been referred to as the best rock band of the 2010s by some. This was due to their high level of integrity when it comes to their music and performances.

They don’t settle for mediocre.

Also, many musical acts emerge. But the lackluster ones tend to die out and get replaced. The National has truly withstood the test of time. They may not always be the most popular, but they are still present in the industry, which is a feat.

For younger fans, their collaboration with Taylor Swift also shows why they are a good band.

In a recent article, I talked about their work together as well as how much of a fan Taylor is of The National. But how did their collaboration come about, and how much did they sell out to work with her?

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Is The National good in concert?

The National is great in concert. They avoid gimmicky visuals and instead just focus on the music. The result is that The National is electrifying on stage. They faithfully reproduce the sounds of their records with passion, energy, and precision.

While you should not expect major theatrics, they put on a great show.

One thing that sets the National apart from other acts is that they are truly great on stage. The vocals by Matt Berninger, the lead singer, are pretty much always great.

Their passion truly takes over, and it is a treat for fans. Being good live performers matters, and this is just one reason why The National is such a good band.

Granted, I’ve only seen them live once.

But the show I saw in 2014 was fantastic. Check out their setlist for the show I saw here.

Why did The National collaborate with Taylor Swift?

The National collaborated with Taylor Swift because they became fans of each other after meeting in 2014 on the set of Saturday Night Live. While their sound is totally different from hers, they both understood one another’s artistic integrity.

Artists working with other artists is nothing new.

However, many were surprised that Taylor would enlist The National to work on music with her. This is because, at first glance, they are very different artists.

They shared mutual respect.

Taylor Swift was a fan of The National, and vice versa. I spoke about this in the same recent article mentioned earlier. As I said, they met on the set of SNL and bonded over their mutual respect for the craft.

Besides the connection over music, it made perfect sense for The National to work with Taylor Swift. This is because of their songwriting style. They are much more similar than some would think.

The National makes songs that are thought-provoking in many ways.

Listeners often don’t fully know what their songs are about. Taylor Swift does the same thing but in a pop-friendly package.

The collaboration between Taylor Swift and The National ended up creating 2 of Taylor Swift’s best albums. And they sound completely different from her entire catalog of music.

Many would say the music on both folklore and evermore is more contemplative, and that’s because of The National.

Why do some people hate The National?

Some people hate The National because they seem too perfect. Others because of their left-leaning politics, and yet others because the consistency of their sound often leaves out any element of surprise or new directions.

One of the reasons why The National isn’t more famous is because they are “perfectly fine”.

This means that although accomplished, The National kind of simply does the same thing. Again, this does not make them boring, but nor does it make them exciting.

This has caused many to hate The National.

People often want to see bands expand and try new things. The National did this, but only to a certain extent. After a while, some people feel like they’re seeing the same thing over again.

It should also be noted that some people find the National pretentious.

They think The National tries to make deep music simply to seem more serious. Some fans even point to the title of their first hit, “Fake Empire”, as an example of the band being pretentious.

The National Talks New Album 'I Am Easy To Find,' And More In iHeartRadio's "The Box"


The National has a great history as a band.

They have performed for a president, they have hit songs, and they are still making music. However, some find them boring.

They are not boring. Indeed, they may not be the most dynamic performers, but they sound great live. Not every act has to put on the biggest show.

The members of The National seem to have figured out the purpose of the band. They know what works for them, and they don’t seem to deviate from that musical style.

I hope The National continues to prove why they’re so great.

Photo which requires attribution:

The National by tkaravou is licensed under CC2.0 and was cropped, edited, and had a text overlay added.

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