Show Review: Ex’pression Session: Metric @ Ex’pression College for Digital Arts

by Jonathan Pirro on March 23, 2010

Emily and James sign the Wall Of Fame

Emily and James sign the Wall Of Fame

One of the main benefits of being a student at a digital arts college — besides the access to thousands of dollars worth of professional audio and video equipment and studios — is the fact that my school has a performance hall. This is normally used for teaching a class on live sound, but thanks to our school’s industry connections, we are fortunate enough to play host to any number of music megastars. Tonight, the stars in question were Toronto indie rockers Metric, who dropped in for a short, acoustic set on their way to tomorrow night’s performance at the Fox Theater.

A very low, hushed set of lights greeted the several-hundred students and lucky fans when they entered the Meyer Performance Hall at Ex’pression College in Emeryville; these soft reds soon shifted to cold, delicate white hues when Metric — tonight simply comprised of singer Emily Haines and guitarist James Shaw — took the small stage. With only an acoustic guitar and baby grand piano as their instrumental accompaniment, the duo played through a set of dreamy acoustic renditions of their songs, each being met with awed applause from the assembled crowd.

The biggest surprise of the night was near the end of the 8-song set, when Emily informed the crowd that she and James had been practicing a cover of a Pink Floyd song. James took over the baby grand and added vocal for a haunting, gorgeous cover of “Nobody Home”, before rounding off the last two songs of their set: “Gimme Sympathy” and “Live It Out”. The band left with a final thank-you and a wave, fading into the darkness as the muted red lights returned.

While not a terribly huge Metric fan, I thought their songs — both the acoustic nature, and the songs themselves — were quite beautiful. This is the third Session I’ve been to at my college, and I would have to say that this was definitely the quietest and most ethereal of them all. I am extremely excited for their show tomorrow night at the Fox Theater.

Setlist (pictured below):

  1. Gold Guns Girls
  2. Help I’m Alive
  3. Twilight Galaxy
  4. Front Row
  5. Satellite Mind
  6. Nobody Home (Pink Floyd)
  7. Gimme Sympathy
  8. Live It Out
Metric's short setlist

Metric's short setlist

All photos by Jonathan Pirro.

Jonathan Pirro

Off-kilter multimedia enthusiast.

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