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Live sessions: The National in the Utzon Room

Sydney Opera House

Four years after their legendary Forecourt appearances, cult US rock band The National returned to play in the shadow of the Sydney Opera House sails. But in between the buzz of their two sold out concerts, the band treated us to this intimate performance of 'Hard To Find' and ‘Carin at the Liquor Store’ from their Grammy Award winning album, Sleep Well Beast.

Recorded in New York with a DIY approach that only veterans of this nature could pull off, Sleep Well Beast was instantly a hit. The likes of PitchforkNME and Rolling Stone all jumped at the opportunity to praise its genius, whilst accolades from RIOT Mag, Stereogum and Rough Trade started rolling in.

It’s been quite a journey for the five piece—conceived in Ohio and cemented in New York, the quintet have gone from playing lo-fi lounge shows on the Lower East Side to headlining summer festivals and presidential rallies. We couldn’t think of a better location to host this session, with the vibrant Utzon Room tapestry and natural light elevating the recording session to something truly special.  

Photography: Josh Groom & Peter Sharp

Find more about Contemporary Music at the Opera House