5 years (to the day) since the last time I shot my first and only 'Sounds of the City' show in Manchester, I made the trip back to photograph one of my favourite bands - Cincinnati's finest: The National.
Over the last 10-15 years, The National have quietly built a huge following, as they've progressed from cult status to being outright iconic. Whilst still not a household name, they're cited as being one of the most influential and respected bands around.
I've had the pleasure of photographing The National on three previous occasions, and each time the show has progressed more and more. The songs have never been in question, but the stage setups have become more elaborate, or the performance has become more animated. This time round was no exception, with much loved frontman Matt Berninger being the most animated I'd ever seen him. It's a common sight to see Berninger meandering around the band when not on vocal duty, perhaps with the occasional raised beverage to acknowledge the crowd. This time he seemed much, much more expressive: with more plenty of gestures and interacting with the front rows, which all made my job much, much easier!
The band were joined on stage be several guest vocalists too, which added a bit of extra intrigue - including former Bowie bassist Gail Ann Dorsey.
Loved shooting this show - certainly worth the drive over the Pennines for. Hopefully I'll catch them when they return to the UK this winter..