Coronavirus

Watch The National Dedicate Heartfelt Cover of 'Devil Town' to Daniel Johnston: 'He Loved Us. We're Still Here.'

The National
Shane McCauley

The National

The music world suffered a tremendous loss Tuesday when lo-fi singer-songwriter Daniel Johnston died from a heart attack at age 58. To pay tribute while performing at Houston’s White Oak Music Hall on Wednesday night, The National intertwined its performance of its own song “Not in Kansas” with a cover of Johnston’s “Devil Town,” the first track from his 1990 album.

The rock band, with guest vocals from Kate Stables, Hannah Georgas and Kyle Resnick, toned down the soft guitar strings and grounded its “Devil Town” cover in the keys and vocals.

After delivering the tribute performance, frontman Matt Berninger somberly spoke to the audience. “That was for Daniel Johnston,” he said as the crowd roared with applause. “He loved us. We’re still here. Yeah, we got this.”

Watch the performance below.

THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.