The National Kick Off 'Trouble Will Find Me' Tour In Ithaca, NY (Setlist)

The National kicked off their Trouble Will Find Me tour, giving a glimpse of what to expect as the new album and tour get underway...
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The National kicked off their Trouble Will Find Me world tour in at State Theater in Ithaca, NY five days before the album gets its worldwide release and the setlist was pleasantly predictable with a couple surprises thrown in for good measure. We have a taste of what this tour may look like going forward so let's take a closer look.

Many bands try to push their new material when they get out on the road but The National have taken a particularly aggressive stance on that going back to their High Violet tour and now at the dawn of the Trouble Will Find Me tour. I was fortunate enough to catch them in Knoxville, TN, a month before High Violet was pulled out and they played the entire record over the course of that show. Last night, the band played 10 of the 13 songs from TWFM over the course of their 21-song set.

11 and I did some setlist projections yesterday prior to the show and were remarkably close in terms of which songs from past albums would stay and which new songs were likely to be part of this tour. The new one we missed was we predicted "Slipped" rather than "Humiliation." The other songs (marked by asterisks below) fell pretty well in line with what we expected, having heard the album. Before you ask: I was provided a legal advance to prepare my review for next week and the album is now streaming, legally. No shenanigans were employed. I won't tip my hand on how I feel about their choice here other than to say it's not what I predicted.

"Don't Swallow The Cap" and "Sea Of Love" have both been 'released' in video form so many of you will have heard those songs. Teaming them with "Bloodbuzz Ohio" makes for a surprisingly uptempo start from a band who thought "Runaway" was a good way to start a show last time out. I liked the somber opening on that tour and really like this trio of songs leading off. I hope they stick with it. I'm also thrilled "Conversation 16" might continue to get played as it remains among my favorite songs from HV. "Demons" and "I Need My Girl" -- two other songs the band have put out in circulation prior to streaming the record as a whole -- were also part of the TWFM contingent on the record.

The surprise from last night's show was "Daughters Of The Soho Riot," a rarely played song from Alligator. I have a feeling it was played for the New York crowd and a song like "Secret Meeting" or "Lit Up" will take its place. "About Today" is a common song on tour but isn't one they've made an every nighter, thus giving us two potential "wildcard" slots where other Trouble songs or different songs from past records could be brought on board. I just don't see Soho sticking, for good or bad.

This setlist and having heard the album many times have only made me all the happier 11 and I will be in attendance at their September date in Nashville at the historic, amazing, perfect Ryman Auditorium. What do you think, National fans? Are you surprised? Pleased? Were you there? Share your thoughts and let's get ready for the official release of Trouble Will Find Me on May 21!

THE NATIONAL SETLIST
STATE THEATER - ITHACA, NY - MARCH 16, 2013

  1. Don't Swallow the Cap*
  2. Bloodbuzz Ohio
  3. Sea of Love*
  4. Afraid of Everyone
  5. Conversation 16
  6. Demons*
  7. Heavenfaced*
  8. This is the Last Time*
  9. Mistaken for Strangers
  10. Daughters of the Soho Riots
  11. Apartment Story
  12. Pink Rabbits*
  13. Humiliation*
  14. I Need My Girl*
  15. England
  16. Graceless*
  17. About Today
  18. Fake Empire
    Encore:
  19. I Should Live In Salt*
  20. Mr. November
  21. Terrible Love