Fauxchella Review: Metric with Mona at The Fox Theater – Oakland, 4/18/13

by Dakin Hardwick on April 24, 2013

All Photos by Misty Brewster

All Photos by Misty Brewster

Fauxchella is a brutal time for music fans. The night Metric played at The Fox, we also had to contend with like minded bands How To Destroy Angels and Savages playing across the bridge. It was a tough night of you enjoy powerful women fronting danceable rock bands. And, as much as I truly love this band, I was thinking hard about what I was missing. I didn’t want to feel buyers remorse. Deep down inside, I knew this was the right place to be. And the sold out crowd at The Fox tonight knew it, too.

mona

Opening the show was a band called Mona. There is a place for bands like Mona. Their brand of melodic power pop brings together elements of bands as wide ranging as Jimmy Eat World, Kings Of Leon, and Journey. These guys will do really well if somebody put them on the right tour. This, however, was not the right place for them. If placed before a more typical rock band, like Stone Temple Pilots or The Killers, perhaps, they may have made a few converts. Instead, we simply ended up with a room full of arms folded, with a but of mildly disinterested swaying. These guys aren’t a bad band, once again. But, stacked up against the brainy, progressive sound of Metric, it just didn’t work. There is a time and place for good old classic rock. This just isn’t either.

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The band opened up with the same triple header as Synthetica: “Artificial Nocturne,” “Youth Without Youth,” and “Speed The Collapse.”  It was a dark, beautiful, and surprisingly brutal way to begin a show. These three songs showcase everything that is great about this band. Emily Haines voice- something that is simultaneously sugary-sweet and war torn & wise. The overall theme of Synthetica is obviously the focus of the live show. It may be the best concept album about the way we have lost our humanity due to technology since Radiohead’s OK Computer. It wasn’t until song five when we got a catalog track. The song? Live It Out’s barnstormer “Empty.” Despite the pop punk  drive, the lyrics to this song all take you straight into the same darkness as it’s predecessors in the set.

The crowd stayed pretty up throughout the whole set. It’s the rare band that is both dark and danceable, without ever moving into goth territory. Obviously, the hits whipped the crowd into a bigger frenzy. People were stoked to hear radio hits like “Help I’m Alive,” “Synthetica,” and “Breathing Underwater.” The latter ended with a long, angry, and heartfelt monologue about how being a performer has changed since cell phones cameras have become a fixture at shows. She spoke about how difficult it was to speak about things on her mind, out of fear of being taken out of context. It certainly wasn’t planned or scripted. She seemed truly exhausted by it, and needed to let out her frustration. This was one of those moments that are on par with Elvis Costello’s abrupt song change on SNL in 1979, where he abruptly played “Radio Radio” instead of his required song, because he felt it was more appropriate to the setting. And, of course, everyone understood exactly she meant. (And I couldn’t see a single cell phone out for the speech.)

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The main set ended with a pure party track of the band’s debut record Old World Underground, Where Are You Now, a punked up disco number called “Dead Disco.” Every body was moving on the floor, including a pair of dancing dinosaurs. Definitely cathartic after how dark the bulk of the show veered. The encore brought us the hits again, making everyone happy with faithful readings of “Monster Hospital” and “Gold Guns Girls.” Not before letting us go with an epic campfire sing along of “Gimme Sympathy.” This was, of course, a stripped down version of the song. Just acoustic guitar and voices. It was a beautiful way to end a gorgeous night.

Setlist

Artificial Nocturne
Youth Without Youth
Speed the Collapse
Dreams So Real
Empty
Help I’m Alive
Synthetica
Clone
Breathing Underwater
Sick Muse
Dead Disco

Encore:
Black Sheep
Monster Hospital
Gold Guns Girls
Gimme Sympathy (Acoustic)

Wanna see more pics from this show? Check out Misty’s Gallery at PinpointMusic.com

 

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