The National played a surprise, secret acoustic set at Edinburgh’s Connect Festival in memory of Frightened Rabbit‘s Scott Hutchison – see footage below.
Yesterday (August 28) festival-goers were alerted to the message, “Secret set added – 7.45pm at the Tiny Changes x Gardeners Cottage”, and soon discovered that The National’s Matt Berninger, Aaron Dessner and Bryce Dessner were performing at the Scottish festival’s new stage to pay tribute to their late friend.
The band, who were headlining the festival, played ‘Sorrow’ and ‘About Today’, telling the crowd for the latter track, “Whenever we play this one we think of Scott,” and singing the words, “Today…You were far away…and I… Didn’t ask you why“.
The Tiny Changes x Gardeners Cottage was set up at the festival in association with Tiny Changes, the charity for supporting young people’s mental health that was set up in memory of Hutchison who died by suicide in 2018.
It’s Scotland’s first national children and young people’s mental health charity and raised more than £4,500 during the course of the festival weekend.
Scott performed at the original Connect Festival in 2006 on a similar stage.
Aaron Dessner of The National said: “Thank you so much, it’s a pleasure to support Tiny Changes. Scott was a really close friend of ours, and like you guys, we were huge fans of Frightened Rabbit.
“We were devastated when he left. This charity is amazing, and any awareness we can raise for mental health, we want to do that because we all struggle with it.”
Kara Brown, CEO of Tiny Changes, said: “Having the National play the inaugural Tiny Changes stage at Connect Festival – a similar stage to one Scott played at back in 2006 – is something we will remember forever and the perfect ending to an incredible weekend of live music, helping young minds feel better.”
DF CEO Geoff Ellis added: “Grant from Frightened Rabbit asking The National if they’d do a secret set at our Tiny Changes Gardeners Cottage is what Connect Festival is all about – a totally unique experience and an appreciation of friendship and connections.
Meanwhile, The National returned to London last week (August 26) to headline All Points East 2022 – watch them perform new single ‘Weird Goodbyes’ with Fleet Foxes‘ Robin Pecknold here.