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The National was recently and flatteringly featured in the New York Times Magazine, but its rise to prominence hasn’t exactly been meteoric. The career of the Brothers Devendorf and Dessner and crooner Matt Berninger has been marked by steady progression, a meritocratic throwback in an indie landscape that increasingly allows for instant semifame. Following the sleeper success of 2005’s Alligator, the band earned across-the-board hosannas for Boxer in 2007. The band’s new album, High Violet, is characteristically somber, with Berninger now ruminating on success and his creeping disenchantment. If this sounds like a gloomy way to spend a Sunday evening, wait for live staples like “Abel” and “Mr. November,” which should provide catharsis amid a set brimming with midtempo malaise.
THE NATIONAL PERFORMS WITH THE ANTLERS AT 8 P.M. AT DAR CONSTITUTION HALL, 1776 D ST NW WASHINGTON DC, 20006. $33, (202) 628-4780.