The National are a good band. They’re not the best I have ever seen, I really like their music but it’s not amazing. Live, they are entertaining but not awesome. They’re a good band that make music I like and are entertaining to watch.
Musically I would say they sit somewhere between Joy Division and The Smiths though they are neither as bleak as the former nor as hopeful as the latter. They sing about the pain and joy of life in a way that, whilst never trying to be, is uplifting. Listening to their songs you come to accept that it is ok to be melancholic, it is normal for things to go wrong and it won’t always turn out right. But in that space there are moments elation and euphoria, unsustainable but glorious to behold.
They are real and authentic in the way they look, they way they write and the way they perform.
I really can recommend them highly enough. If you like them, go and see them too.