Since they had not made a stop in Denver in over 4 years, Metric was a group I was desperate to cover. I would have loved to see them at Lollapalooza, but a sea of people prevented me from experiencing anything, so I felt incredibly lucky that they decided to stop here making this one of my most anticipated shows of 2012.
Metric- Something for Everyone
As an electro lover that usually encounters music that is automatically in sync, it was amazing seeing an instrumental band working together so perfectly. You can tell Metric has been established for over a decade, because they have seemingly developed their own genre. Synthy beats with heavy bass and electro really rode the line between alternative and dance with songs like “Youth Without Youth” and “Speed the Collapse” from their new album Synthetica, yet they totally rocked out to more classic Metric songs like “Help I’m Alive,” “Black Sheep,” and “Monster Hospital.” There were definitely some more low-key moments with songs like “Collect Call,” “Breathing Underwater,” and a lullaby between lead singer Emily Haines and lead guitar player Jimmy Shaw to end the show. The band placed a lot of emphasis on variety, making it extremely hard to place them into one genre.
Emily Haines- A Complete Natural
In a mixing bowl, combine the following:
- ¼ the Rasp of Kurt Cobain
- ¼ the Glam of Pat Bennetar
- ¼ the Energy of David Byrne
- ¼ the Elegance of Joni Mitchell
Bake on high for ~15 years. DO NOT LET COOL DOWN.
Wearing a skirt with runny makeup and electrifyingly blonde hair, Haines made my heart beat like a hammer the entire show. Having a front woman that is even more badass than Karen O (sue me!) is a rare treat for any band, and between Jimmy Shaw on the guitar, Josh Winstead on the bass, and Joules Scott-Key on drums, Haines really brings the band together.
Haines completely took over the Ogden. She mastered a keyboard and synthesizer. She pranced around the stage around slamming the tambourine. For one of the last songs she even played the guitar. Throw her amazing voice in there and you would think she could be her own one man band. Haines’ uniqueness and versatility made the women in the audience want to be her and the men in the audience want to be on her.
While I prefer major productions, I loved Metric’s setup. It was simple and classic; their speakers were lit up similarly to Justice’s (LED’s outlining the speaker boxes), and basic led clusters and transitional spotlights synced with the shows energy perfectly.
But this is Denver. With Pretty Lights, Big Gigantic, and Savoy pushing the envelope in terms of lights, bands better have a good production. And somehow Metric knew this because mid show (and seemingly out of left field) a laser erupted above the stage. The crowd instantly started screaming and as you can see from the pictures below, it was almost like the laser was a crown sitting atop the band to make them kings (and queens) of the night.
They placed their own speakers right behind their setup so so they could drown in their own sounds, and they care so much about their live production they had their own soundboard on the side of the stage in addition to the Ogden’s center soundboard. True music professionalism.
Naturally, like any indy show, the sold out crowd started off a bit slow. But Metric quickly energized the audience, making people that weren’t dancing feeling left out. I thought this would be one of those events that would require you to hire a sky writer to apologize to someone for stepping on their shoe accidentally, but most people realized that it was a concert and there was no need to get upset.
Naturally, after each song was done, the crowd went ballistic. It was if everyone had pent up excitement/anger/happines (circle one) they were dying to release. Walking out of the show, everyone had goofy, yet satisfied grins on their faces.