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The National’s ‘This Is the Last Time’ Is More at Home on ‘Conan’ Than ‘Kimmel’

Second time's the charm for Ohio natives on the late-night talk show circuit

picture-18547-1390524318Kyle McGovern // August 15, 2013

The National performed Trouble Will Find Me tumbler “This Is the Last Time” a second time for television this week, following their Monday Jimmy Kimmel Live! visit with a guest spot on Conan last night (August 14). At this point, six albums deep into a hard-earned career, Matt Berninger and co. are nothing if not professional: Arena headliners (and dapper dressers) who unspool their middle-aged melancholy with craftsman-level precision. The outdoor Kimmel gig afforded the baroque Brooklynites some breathing room on “This Is the Last Time” and “Graceless,” but the Conan set — a claustrophobic stage bathed in blue light — better suits the National’s paranoid interiority, particularly when Berninger’s pleading, “Don’t tell anyone I’m here / I’ve got Tylenol and beer.” Watch it above.