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Published: 2013/04/19

The National Open Tribeca Film Festival

The National played a surprise mini-show at New York’s Highline Ballroom late Wednesday night. The performance took place at an after party for Mistaken for Strangers, a new documentary about the acclaimed indie rock group that was directed by lead singer Matt Berninger’s brother Tom.

The members of The National took the stage—still dressed in the suits from the evening’s premiere—and ran through a nine-song set. The group opened their show with a first-time rock arrangement of “Oh Holy Night,” a song Tom champions in the film, and jumped into “Bloodbuzz Ohio.” Then, they moved into two songs from their forthcoming album Terrible Will Find Me that have been released on YouTube, “Demons” and “Don’t Swallow the Cap.” The rest of their set surveyed their career: the Alligator single “Mr. November,” the Trouble Will Find Me title track, “I Should Live in Salt,” the Boxer anthem “Fake Empire” and the High Violet song “Terrible Love.” Matt Berninger also revealed that “I Should Live in Salt” was written about his brother.

The show wrapped-up a busy evening for The National. Earlier in the day, the band attended Mistaken for Stranger‘s premiere at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. The film officially opened the Tribeca Film Festival and was proceeded by a full red carpet affair. Festival founder Robert De Niro attended the screening and officially introduced the film.

Though loosely about The National, Mistaken for Strangers is really about the Berninger brothers’ relationship. Tom spent a few months on the road with The National as a first-time roadie while making the feature. As the story unfolds, Tom talks about living in his brothers’ shadows before and after The National achieved international fame. While still avoiding the traditional rockumentary’s structure, Tom also provides some insite into the life of a touring band. Yo La Tengo guitarist Ira Kaplan, Office star John Krasinski and actor Will Arnett also appear in the film.

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