Metric in Action!

Touring in support of their fifth release, Synthetica, Metric played the album almost in entirety (only three songs did not appear on their setlist); they added just a few older, fan favorites. The first stop of their fall tour, the Canadian quartet thrilled an enthusiastic audience despite a few technical difficulties.

The band was greeted by delighted cheers and applause when they graced the stage. Emily Haines (vocals, synthesizer), James Shaw (guitar, keyboard), Joshua Winstead (bass, keyboard), and Joules Scott-Key (drums) waved to the Rochester crowd, approached their instruments and played the first track of Synthetica. They played the first 3 tracks from the album in succession and the audience cheered at the start of each song and gleefully sang along with Emily. “Youth Without Youth,” the first single of the album, is a great live track as Emily commands “on the count of three jump with me…” and the excited members of the audience happily obliged.

All was going well for the band as they methodically transitioned to the next song on their list. The upbeat and extremely catchy drum riff of “Lost Kitten” filled the air; the crowd roared and again sang along. About a quarter ways through the song the effects went haywire and decided to keep its own beat, Emily turned to Joules and motioned for him to stop. While the gents attempted to mend the machine, Emily apologized and for the first time had a chat with the audience, “How are you,” she began. In a stream on consciousness Emily blissfully noted that the show was the first of their fall tour, thanked the audience for the warm reception, mentioned how she and the guys just left their studios in Canada and asked if there were any Canadians in the room. A few hands shot in the air as the fans from her native land jumped and shouted in response. “Sprinkles in the mist,” Emily joked. She then turned to James, “ok, we’ll just move on,” she noted. They left the song in the dust and commenced everyone’s favorite track from their third LP, Live It Out, “Empty.”

“Dead Disco” had to make an appearance this night and luckily it did. Upon the first few notes the crowd erupted in cheers as Emily jokingly approached the mic and coifed her hair in preparation. They closed the set with loud number “Stadium Love” but quickly returned for their encore. After two songs, Josh and Joules left the stage as James and Emily remained. James reached for his acoustic and played background as Emily again thanked the
crowd and again went on a stream of consciousness tangent of how-in the moment with James on the acoustic with all becoming calm-felt like Willie Nelson. And confessed her love for Willie. (I mean, who doesn’t!)

Soon enough Emily began a slow, acoustic version of “Gimme Sympathy,” to which the audience sang with her. “Sounds good,” she added as the room almost overtook her on the mic. When the song was almost finished Josh and Joules jumped back on the stage, clapped and sang along as well. They ended the song with a bow, again
waved goodbye to everyone, jumped off the front of the stage and shook the hands of the fans in the front row. One fan was disappointed that she could not share in this moment, dipped below the barrier and bounded over to shake Emily’s hand. The singer obliged and extended her hand before leaving for the night-can’t take mothers anywhere sometimes.

Though disappointed that the band decided to not play more tracks from previous albums, several fans shouted for “Hustle Rose”-a song I desired to hear as well-Metric sounds great live.

Artificial Nocturne
Youth Without Youth
Speed the Collapse
Dreams So Real
Lost Kitten
Help I’m Alive
Breathing Underwater
Dead Disco
Stadium Love

Monster Hospital
Gold Guns Girls
Gimme Sympathy

Metric Continues to Charm

Oh Metric, how I continue to heart thee. Though the quartet is straying from their dance-punk roots one cannot help but bop their heads and bounce to the upbeat music Metric creates. The music is fun, light and danceable, what more could you ask for? Blurt review below:
(Mom + Pop Records)

Metric again utilizes their formula for infectious, pop-rock on their fifth album #Synthetica.# The slightly more subdued cousin to 2009s #Fantasies,# Emily Haines’ sugar coated vocals tenderly delivers lyrics that range from self debasing to tongue-in-cheek wit. Opener “Artificial Nocturne” greets listeners to grinding keyboard and Haines piercing words, “I’m just as fucked up as they say;” thus commences an album that is far from synthetic.

Photo by Brantley Gutierrez
Photo by Brantley Gutierrez

Single “Youth Without Youth” is the forerunner of the album with its rolling drums and catchy, loopy guitar and bass. That high point of “loud rock” found in “Youth” does not return with the same force. In its stead #Synthetica# is full of either calm, pensive intros that grow louder from a buildup of musical layers or tracks that remain at a level plateau.  And when #Synthetica# almost nears its end a familiar, weathered vocal appears on upbeat “The Wanderlust” full of trickling keys, it’s only Lou Reed of course.

Nonetheless, with nearly each track including a mesmerizing hook or chorus that slowly permeates your subconscious—“Clone” and “Breathing Underwater” leap out from the pack in this regard—#Synthetica# is a solid album.

DOWNLOAD: “Youth Without Youth,” “Lost Kitten” APRIL S. ENGRAM

If you are not already, follow Metric and listen to Clone, a quieter number from Synthetica but just as alluring as the louder tracks!