The National kicked off the first night of their Homecoming 2023 Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio tonight — and they had some surprises in store. During their set tonight, the group brought out Patti Smith, and the fans went wild.

Just a few weeks ago, Patti Smith and her band had opened for The National as a special guest during their Madison Square Garden shows in NYC. Smith also performed earlier in the evening at the festival.

Smith then returned once more to perform “I Need My Girl” with The National during their headlining set. The band are playing their 2010 album High Violet in full tonight — and those who are going tomorrow night can expect to hear Trouble Will Find Me in its entirety. However, The National are also sprinkling in some other songs on the setlist.

According to, The National dedicated “Afraid Of Everyone” to Michael Stipe and Patti Smith during an earlier part of their performance. As the night and weekend continues, time will tell what else they have planned.

There are still one-day passes for Saturday of the Homecoming Festival available. More information can be found via the band’s website.

Check out a video of Patti Smith performing “I Need My Girl” with The National above.

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