Wellll, damn. If I wasn’t worshiping at the shrine of Metric already, last night’s show at the Fox Theater easily convinced me: this band is fierce and invincible. Their live set was a tight performance; it seems doubtful that there was more than a moment where they didn’t hold the audience firmly in their grasp. Guitarist James Shaw has mentioned that the band “toured the new songs a lot” and it shows – they move effortlessly through a set, never missing a note, and still look as though they’re having as much fun as the audience.
In the support slot was Codeine Velvet Club, whom I knew nothing about before tonight. What I saw and heard was beyond a doubt one of the most interesting bands I have ever run across on accident. This is a Fratellis side project, but has nothing to do the singer’s main project. They did a dark jazz rock, the kind of music that would sound really good in a David Lynch film. Singers John Lawler and Lou Hickey played off each other’s strengths nicely, as Hickey sang with a rockabilly bunch while Lawler brought out his inner Leonard Cohen. The use of live horns also added to the overall feel of the set. I highly recommend seeing them when they come around again.
With the background simply two large screens that projected color, Metric started the set with “Twilight Galaxy” and got the crowd dancing as they moved into “Satellite Mind.” Haines, dressed in a sparkly mini-skirt, matching shoulder pads draped in silver and a fringed, white flapper-esque white blouse, was positioned over her keyboards like a mad scientist.
When the sounds of “Help, I’m Alive” started to play, the crowd got crazed, screaming, shouting and clapping in anticipation. Haines is impossible not to watch as she shakes, shimmies, head bangs and dances across the stage, the screens flash red, the guitars churn and the audience had their fists raised and “beating like a hammer.” They wind through “Empty,” blend into “Collect Call” before erupting into “Gold Guns Girls” – Haines on guitar and facing off against Shaw in classic rock battle mode.
They kept the momentum going with “Gimmie Sympathy” and “Sick Muse” then switched the mood into a super psycho electro-synth dance party with a frenetic rendition of “Dirty Disco.” They ended with a big, encompassing rendition of “Stadium Love,” with Haines holding her mic out so the crowd can hum along, singing and leaning far back into the open arms of the audience as crowd surfers drift by.
They kept the encore short – a raucous version of “Monster Hospital” leading into an acoustic version of “Combat Baby” with just Haines and Shaw on stage. The set was nearly flawless, the energy rarely sagged, the band was certainly on point, Haines vocals were crystal clear (putting all those auto-tuned kids to shame!), the crowd was enthusiastic and dancing, but gosh it was over awfully soon.
Thanks to Paige K Parsons for photographing this show for us. Below is a gallery of Metric, Codeine Velvet Club and Nico Vega.
Dakin Hardwick contributed to this review.