Neither of them has been here since 2018, but next year The National and Fleet Foxes will be returning to tour Australia. Together!
This perfect double bill will travel the nation between February and March next year, taking in a performance in Sydney and outdoor venues in Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.
The tour news follows the surprise release today of Laugh Track, The National’s second album of the year following First Two Pages of Frankenstein, released in April and their third consecutive Double J Feature Album.
Laugh Track‘s 12 new songs were honed in live performances before recorded in the studio. Closing track ‘Smoke Detector’ was even captured during a soundcheck. So, you can bet these new songs will sound even better on Australian stages.
Emerging out of Brooklyn at the turn of the century, The National have gone on to become one of indie rock’s prestige acts, scooping Grammys and collaborating with fellow scene titans like Bon Iver, Phoebe Bridgers, Sufjan Stevens, and even Taylor Swift.
For more than two decades, they’ve specialised in a specific strain of mature, artfully maudlin introspection, capturing complex emotions with music that’s at turns tragic, beautiful, and cathartic.
Or “sad-sack-mope-dad-rock-brunch-core-Americana”, as frontman Matt Berninger once eloquently put it.
They’re also a formidable live band, and if you’ve ever witnessed highlights like ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’, ‘Fake Empire’, ‘Mr November’ or ‘Don’t Swallow The Cap’ in the flesh, you already know these upcoming shows are going to make for treasured memories.
As if The National wasn’t enough of a drawcard, we’ll also get to spend an evening with indie folk marvels Fleet Foxes.
Fronted by singer-songwriter Robin Pecknold, the band’s four-album catalogue is very much a case of quality over quantity.
Fleet Foxes (2008) is considered as an instant classic in many circles, while Helplessness Blues (2011) expanded their stunning harmonies and melodies with lush orchestrations and inventive song structures. Then, Crack-Up (2017) was a more adventurous, impressionistic affair.
This 2024 tour will also be the first chance for Australians to experience live material from 2020’s Shore, Fleet Foxes’ latest album and one of that year’s best. We’re getting chills just thinking about it.
The chance to see two revered bands of this calibre on the one bill, let alone Down Under, is rare. So you can bet it’s going to be a special night to remember.
Opening all shows will be Sydney singer-songwriter Annie Hamilton. She’s got a knack for stitching more atmosphere, drama, depth and humour into her music than most guitar-toting songsmiths.
(Also, fun fact: Hamilton was a member of Little May, whose 2015 debut album For The Company was produced by The National’s Aaron Dessner.)
Tickets are on sale Friday 22 September, 12pm local time. There’s a pre-sale happening from 21 September at 1pm. For more info visit the Live Nation AU website.
Don’t miss The National and Fleet Foxes, with Annie Hamilton, at the following dates, proudly supported by Double J.
Wed 28 February – Riverstage: Turrbal Jagera Land, Brisbane
Fri 1 March – Aware Super Theatre: Gadigal Land, Sydney
Tue 5 March – Sidney Myer Music Bowl: Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Land, Melbourne
Sat 9 March – Kings Park & Botanic Garden: Whadjuk Noongar Land, Perth