I’m the Goldilocks of concert-going




We saw The National perform with Arcade Fire back in 2011 at the UIC Pavilion. With seats in the upper tank and to the side of the stage, the acoustics and optics were predictably middling. Zip ahead to this spring, and through a Ticketmaster miracle we secured second-row seats to one of The National’s shows at the Chicago Theatre. Standing at the feet of Matt Berninger & Co., surely the acoustics would be stellar, right? Negativo. The vocals, in particular, were unintelligible. I’m certain that if we were positioned in the right spot, these guys would be acoustically spectacular. Next time we’ll strive for center stage, 20 rows back.

Silver lining: from Row 2, the rhythm guitarist sounded fantastic (as heard at the 1:32 mark in the video).



If you haven’t seen “Mistaken for Strangers,” Tom Berninger’s surprisingly brilliant rock doc about his relationship with his older brother, you should check it out. It delves deeply, and movingly, into sibling issues and the importance of never giving up on one’s brother or sister.