Metric live: Daaamn, those slower moments though

Genres (Wikipedia’s version): Indie rock/new wave/synthpop

Genres (my version): Cityscape sounds/introspective pop/SYNTH SEX

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Let me tell you about a band called Metric, and if we want to be real about it, The Emily Haines Show. Looking for a band that will make you dance AND think about your loneliness at the same time? Look no further than Metric.

I was dancing lonely to Metric in high school about eight years ago, when my best friend Eugenia presented me with a mix CD and simply said through her black bangs, “Here, listen to this, I think you’ll like it.” And eight years later, here I am still liking it, in fact, liking them more because I just went to my first show by them a week or so ago.

Their performance with more energetic songs is lackluster at best; during “Youth Without Youth” and “Synthetica”, I was wishing Emily Haines would physically do more than walk around the stage and jump halfheartedly. Their genius is tucked away in the intimate moments, like when Emily and guitarman James Shaw hold a sing-along, or when Emily gently delivers a pah-pah-da-dah that all at once sounds sinister and pleading. One minute, you’re bobbing your head to some sexy synth melody and the next you’re struck by lyrics like “We’re so close to something better left unknown/I can feel it in my bones”.

I would have to say that Metric’s greatest strength is Emily Haines. Forget being more physical. I nearly cried when they did an acoustic set of “Gimme Sympathy”, when she slowly sang “Gimme sympathy/After all of this is gone/Who would you rather be?/The Beatles or the Rolling Stones?”

It takes a lot of charisma to connect with hundreds of folks from a stage, and with that husky, expressive voice and random phrases like “here’s to time travel”, she’s a natural at it.

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Photo cred: VH1

I don’t think there’s anybody quite like themtrust me, I’ve tried finding similar bands, with unsatisfactory results. They’re an otherworldly, introspective band with a sound that is at once intense and intimate.

Setlist:

IOU
Help I’m Alive
Youth Without Youth
Twilight Galaxy
Cascades
Too Bad, So Sad
Artificial Nocturne
Dreams So Real
Sick Muse
Collect Call
Other Side
Synthetica
Combat Baby
Gold Gun Girls
The Shade

Encore:

Empty
Celebrate
Gimme Sympathy
Breathing Underwater

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