Toronto-based Metric delivers fans’ fantasies

Cosima Storz

Contributing Writer

Canadian new-wave band Metric rolled through Richmond this past Monday, Oct. 25 at The National.  Toronto-based Metric, currently touring with Muse, was heard recently in the summer film “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” with their single “Black Sheep.” Their current tour features their fourth album titled “Fantasies,” which was released last April.

The Richmond-based band, Lubec, opened with a lengthy one-hour set – lead singer Brandon Marin’s voice was evocative of the Pixies.  They are signed to the recently-created Richmond label Acme Thunderer.

Metric opened with their single “Black Sheep,” with the audience singing and dancing along.  The band consists of guitarist James Shaw (doubling on theremin), bassist Josh Winstead, drummer Joules Scott-Key and lead singer Emily Haines (doubling on synthesizer).

Haines was a sight to behold in her gold dress and black metallic leggings, which made me think of David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust. Her highly energetic showmanship engaged the crowd through sing-a-longs, and she periodically sat down on stage close to the star-struck fans.

Using multiple instruments such as the tambourine, guitar and synthesizer, Haines was able to pick up the pace with faster-tempo songs like “Help I’m Alive” and brought the entire venue, who kept dancing through the slower-paced singles, to their feet.

The only downside to the performance was the awkward break in between singing and instrument solos for individual songs.  A strobe light added mood at times but reminded me of a bright white welding light, too.

Fans at the concert said they enjoy Metric’s live performances and unique lyrics.

“Lyrics are a big deal for me in music – their songs embody what’s going on in life for me,” Stephanie Cureton, an avid Metric listener  for over six years, said.

Metric’s most recent album “Fantasies” is a sophisticated blend of all their sounds after years of experience.

“She gets into it; it’s a very lively show – that chick does it right,” Meghan Jacobs, a business major, said.

After a fake-out finale song, “Stadium Love,” Metric ran back on a blacked-out stage to play an encore that included “Monster Hospital” and closed their show with an acoustic version of “Combat Baby.”

The wind down of the concert was a touching moment – if a musician was to ever have one with their fans, this was it – the audience, from the pit to the balcony sung along, to the band’s surprise. Many on the front line, right against the stage, belted out each word as Haines and Shaw stood before them.

“This will be my fifth time seeing them live; not only did they exceed expectations, but I probably danced harder at this show than any of the others,” Salem Acuna, a J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College student, said. “They rocked my balls off.”

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