Events

Metric: 20 May 2010 - Chicago

Rory O'Connor

Upon a stage bathed in soft blue light, the members of Metric electrified the crowd with their signature stadium rocking anthems.

Upon a stage bathed in soft blue light, the members of Metric slowly took position behind their instruments and started the evening with “Twilight Galaxy”, a song from last year’s album, Fantasies. The moody, slower tempo, synth driven track seemed an odd choice to open the night with, until it suddenly erupted into a cacophony of light and intensity during the final minute of the song. The band then stayed with the slick, pop leanings of the Fantasies album for the next handful of songs, and the rest of the night followed suit. The tracks “Satellite Mind” and “Front Row”, both brought lead singer Emily Haines out from behind the keys with a mic in hand to work the front of the stage. The upbeat “Help I’m Alive” sounded enormous with its pounding drums and tight power chords.

The band finally dipped into some older material with the track “Empty”, from 2005’s Live it Out. But the nostalgia was short lived as they immediately followed with another pair of songs from Fantasies. The latest record has definitely marked a shift in direction for the band, one that seeks a bigger, more anthemic pop sound and also seems destined for larger audiences. A move which will always develop detractors among older fans. Both the set list and performance backed this movement towards a bigger sound, and the sold out crowd and their response may prove it has already achieved its goal. But there are still some kinks to sort out with these huge pop anthems and looming stadium sized success. It plays well on some tracks, like the extremely infectious “Sick Muse”, but falls dull and flat on a track like “Gold Guns Girls” and the Neil Young teaser of “Hey Hey My My (Into the Black)” before the band’s own “Gimme Sympathy”, which was overly tacky and would be better suited in the hands of a band like Kiss.

Truth be told, however, the sold out audience appeared to lap up every note thrown their way, and lead singer Emily Haines is most likely to blame. With her blonde hair perpetually falling across her face, she donned an unassuming t-shirt and shimmering skirt as she head banged, jumped and danced her way across every inch of the stage, and all from atop a pair of high heeled boots. Her saccharine sounding vocals should belie the harder presence she sometimes wears on stage, but she manages to convince just enough on both ends of the spectrum to make it all work in her favor.

After an evening of huge flashing lights and big rock numbers, it all ended on a softer note. With an acoustic rendition of “Combat Baby”, from 2003’s Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?, which even had Haines putting down her mic to allow the audience to pick up the singing. While the set was short, it was extremely high on energy and entertainment, and there is little fault to be found in that.

Music


Books


Film


Recent
Television

'Everything's Gonna Be Okay' Is  Better Than Okay

The first season of Freeform's Everything's Gonna Be Okay is a funny, big-hearted love letter to family.

Music

Jordan Rakei Breathes New Life Into Soul Music

Jordan Rakei is a restless artistic spirit who brings R&B, jazz, hip-hop, and pop craft into his sumptuous, warm music. Rakei discusses his latest album and new music he's working on that will sound completely different from everything he's done so far.

Reviews

Country Music's John Anderson Counts the 'Years'

John Anderson, who continues to possess one of country music's all-time great voices, contemplates life, love, mortality, and resilience on Years.

Music

Rory Block's 'Prove It on Me' Pays Tribute to Women's Blues

The songs on Rory Block's Prove It on Me express the strength of female artists despite their circumstances as second class citizens in both the musical world and larger American society.

Music

The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums Ever: Part 3, Echo & the Bunnymen to Lizzy Mercier Descloux

This week we are celebrating the best post-punk albums of all-time and today we have part three with Echo & the Bunnymen, Cabaret Voltaire, Pere Ubu and more.

Books

Wendy Carlos: Musical Pioneer, Reluctant Icon

Amanda Sewell's vastly informative new biography on musical trailblazer Wendy Carlos is both reverent and honest.

Music

British Folk Duo Orpine Share Blissful New Song "Two Rivers" (premiere)

Orpine's "Two Rivers" is a gently undulating, understated folk song that provides a welcome reminder of the enduring majesty of nature.

Music

Blesson Roy Gets "In Tune With the Moon" (premiere)

Terry Borden was a member of slowcore pioneers Idaho and a member of Pete Yorn's band. Now he readies the debut of Blesson Roy and shares "In Tune With the Moon".

Books

In 'Wandering Dixie', Discovering the Jewish South Is Part of Discovering Self

Sue Eisenfeld's Wandering Dixie is not only a collection of dispatches from the lost Jewish South but also a journey of self-discovery.

Music

Bill Withers and the Curse of the Black Genius

"Lean on Me" singer-songwriter Bill Withers was the voice of morality in an industry without honor. It's amazing he lasted this long.

Film

Jeff Baena Explores the Intensity of Mental Illness in His Mystery, 'Horse Girl'

Co-writer and star Alison Brie's unreliable narrator in Jeff Baena's Horse Girl makes for a compelling story about spiraling into mental illness.

Music

Pokey LaFarge Hits 'Rock Bottom' on His Way Up

Americana's Pokey LaFarge performs music in front of an audience as a way of conquering his personal demons on Rock Bottom.

Music

Joni Mitchell's 'Shine' Is More Timely and Apt Than Ever

Joni Mitchell's 2007 eco-nightmare opus, Shine is more timely and apt than ever, and it's out on vinyl for the first time.

Music

'Live at Carnegie Hall' Captures Bill Withers at His Grittiest and Most Introspective

Bill Withers' Live at Carnegie Hall manages to feel both exceptionally funky and like a new level of grown-up pop music for its time.

Music

Dual Identities and the Iranian Diaspora: Sepehr Debuts 'Shaytoon'

Electronic producer Sepehr discusses his debut album releasing Friday, sparing no detail on life in the Iranian diaspora, the experiences of being raised by ABBA-loving Persian rug traders, and the illegal music stores that still litter modern Iran.

Television

From the Enterprise to the Discovery: The Decline and Fall of Utopian Technology and the Liberal Dream

The technology and liberalism of recent series such as Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard, and the latest Doctor Who series have more in common with Harry Potter's childish wand-waving than Gene Roddenberry's original techno-utopian dream.

Music

The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums Ever: Part 2, The B-52's to Magazine

This week we are celebrating the best post-punk albums of all-time and today we have part two with the Cure, Mission of Burma, the B-52's and more.

Music

Emily Keener's "Boats" Examines Our Most Treasured Relationships (premiere)

Folk artist Emily Keener's "Boats" offers a warm look back on the road traveled so far—a heartening reflection for our troubled times.

Music

Paul Weller - "Earth Beat" (Singles Going Steady)

Paul Weller's singular modes as a soul man, guitar hero, and techno devotee converge into a blissful jam about hope for the earth on "Earth Beat".

Games

On Point and Click Adventure Games with Creator Joel Staaf Hästö

Point and click adventure games, says Kathy Rain and Whispers of a Machine creator Joel Staaf Hästö, hit a "sweet spot" between puzzles that exercise logical thinking and stories that stimulate emotions.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews
Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.