It’s got to feel good to play a sold-out show on a day your album is nominated for a Grammy. That might have been why The National’s Paramount show Tuesday had a joyousness their moody records don’t always approach.

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It’s got to feel good to play a sold-out show on a day your album is nominated for a Grammy. That might have been why The National’s Paramount show Tuesday had a joyousness their moody records don’t always approach.

The upbeat tone was set from the opener, “Nobody Else Will Be There,” from their nominated album, “Sleep Well Beast.” It’s a meditative simmer of a song, and Matt Berninger sang it arms behind his back, as if his lyrics were central to the presentation.

Perhaps they were. Over two decades, Berninger and his band have made smart music for smart socially aware people (a portion of ticket sales went to a social justice organization). Politics came up often, and Berninger dedicated “Walk it Back” to Karl Rove, and not with ardor.

CONCERT REVIEW

THE NATIONAL

Tuesday, Nov. 28, Paramount Theatre, Seattle.

Most of Berninger’s demons are internal, and that was particularly clear on “Don’t Swallow the Cap,” and “Afraid of Everyone,” both from their early years. The latter mixed a poppy chorus about lacking drugs, with personality disorder.

The encores included “Mr. November,” a song that most certainly was not written about Donald Trump, though given the fiery performance you could have imagined it was (Berninger penned it a decade ago about John Kerry).

But the skill of Berninger, and his bandmates, is artistic reinvention, so “Mr. November” has morphed. Lyrics about “not” screwing the populace over, or words to that effect, were transformed into a sarcastic screed about that very screwing. “I wish I believed in fate,” Berninger screamed. It was clear he does not.

That anger subsided by the end of the night. Rarely is the last song played at a concert the best, but such was the case Tuesday (they return to the Paramount Wednesday). They played “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks” acoustic and off microphone.

You would think that a bunch of fans in the Paramount couldn’t come close to Berninger’s rich tenor, and usually singalongs are off key at best. Not this one. For three short minutes, everything and everyone in the world felt more connected.

It was exactly the kind of magical moment that makes the shared experience of live music something that can’t be recreated by watching it on a screen, or hearing it through airbuds. Those minutes alone were worthy of any musical award you could possibly bestow.