In 2007, The National released their remarkable fourth studio album, Boxer, which finally launched the long-overlooked five-piece into mainline success.
Since then, they’ve released three subsequent masterpieces, remained perennially busy with various side projects and deservedly become one of indie rock’s biggest headliners. Late last year, at a concert in Belgium, the band performed Boxer in its entirety to commemorate the album’s 10th anniversary. Originally released as a Record Store Day exclusive, and now given a wide release, the high-quality, no-frills performance is faithful to the album and demonstrative of their highly-perfected live show, but it doesn’t replace what it must have been like to be there.
For the National completist, Boxer: Live in Brussels is a sentimental addition to your collection. For everyone else, you may as well stick to the original studio recording.
Ryan is a writer, editor and vinyl collector currently based in Los Angeles. He started Mini Music Critic in 2017.