Latitude 2016: Returning headliners The National storm the Obelisk once more

The National headline the Obelisk stage at Latitude 2016. Photo: Paul John Bayfield.

The National headline the Obelisk stage at Latitude 2016. Photo: Paul John Bayfield.

The National love Latitude.

Leader singer Matt Berninger says as much, when he professes that the band owe their career to the festival.

'This awesome festival was one of the first over here to offer us a decent slot, and it basically saved our career,' he enthused.

Judging by the expansive crowd the Ohio band pulled, Latitude loves them too.

Drawing strongly from their most recent album, Trouble Will Find Me, the band's 90 minute set is a barn-storming display from start to finish.


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The band's rhythm section is among the tightest around, with drummer Bryan Devendorf's pounding beats driving the set.

Guitarist Bryce Dessner's powerful riffs add to the huge wall of sound created by the band, with Berninger's baritone vocals giving a brooding feel.

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Dressed all in black, he spends the most part either hunched over the microphone, or wandering around stage almost aimlessly during instrumentals.

However, despite being static for large parts, he still has a presence.

For ballad I Need My Girl, the band are joined on stage by Lauren Mayberry, singer of sub-headliners Chvrches, who provides a twinkling harmony to Berninger's deep vocal.

A frantic version of Sea of Love soon follows, with Matt crooning the title of the band's latest album.

'If I stay here, trouble will find me.' Judging by the crowd's reaction, were he to stay, nobody would mind too much.

The band's set finishes exactly how it did five years ago, with the entire Obelisk Arena uniting for an emotional acoustic rendition of fan favourite Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks.

With this set the band became the first band ever to headline Latitude's main stage twice.

If they continue to give performances of this calibre, few would complain if they one day complete their hat-trick.

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