Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Metric @ The Orpheum -- 11/03/09

After my complaining last week, it was kind of nice to finally have a curfewed show on a weekday. And what a show it was! At first, I was vaguely disappointed that The Stills were opening for Metric out east but not here, but after the show, I most definitely changed my tune and was perfectly happy with the choice of openers.

I had seen Zeus before -- a couple times, actually -- when they opened for (and subsequently played with) Jason Collett last year. I liked them well enough then, but was never really inspired to do more than turn up Radio3 when they came on. However, I can safely say after this show, they fully won me over. And based on the crowd reaction, I wasn't the only one. Their 45 minute set was filled with awesomely catchy songs, like the single Marching Through Your Head and Genesis cover That's All. They also changed things up quite a bit. Of the our members, only the drummer stayed put. The other three traded off between guitar, bass and keyboard and swapped lead vocals, with everyone providing backups. It was pretty cool too see a band do this, as not many can, and spoke volumes for their talent. The only source of disappointment was that they only had a five song EP for sale, but clearly had enough awesomeness for a full length. I hope to see one soon and can't wait for them to be back in town.

This is the third time I've seen Metric in the last year (this show, an acoustic show earlier this year and the Jingle Bell Rock tour late last year) and they somehow manage to surprise me every time. Such an incredible sound that comes out of only four members. Emily Haines is like a tiny ball of energy, bouncing and jumping and rocking and dancing all over the place, when not on guitar or on the keys. And James Shaw always leaves me in awe of his boundless talent. And not to leave out Joules Scott-Key and Josh Winstead, who were both as great as always.
They kicked off with Twilight Galaxy -- which featured a theremin! awesome! -- which built to an epic climax before launching into Help I'm Alive and somehow keeping up the energy level for the entire set. Focusing mostly on the new album, Fantasies, they threw in only a few from Live It Out and just the two hits from Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? I was kind of hoping for a fewer older ones, like Succexy or Live It Out, but oh well. Gold Guns Girls was definitely a highlight of the set, which I think was the only song that saw Haines on guitar.
The weird this is, they didn't speak to the crowd until almost the end of the set. During the instrumental on an extended version of Empty, Haines "ranted" a little bit about how the past was better and this generation needs a new Zeppelin, which tied it in to how great Zeus is. The extended Empty also featured some random lyrics slipped in from other songs, like Beastie Boys' Fight for Your Right. They ended the "main" set with another incredible live song, Stadium Love, which was just another burst of pure energy and enthusiasm from the band. The encore consisted of Monster Hospital first, then Joules and John took their leave and Shaw & Haines did a very nice acoustic version of Combat Baby which everyone in the house sang along to. They also dedicated the song to their friend Torquil Campbell of Stars, who was in attendance (apparently). This was kinda funny, since it was the third show in a row I've been to where someone has mentioned Torquil.
After the song was done, Joules and John came back out and the band thanked everyone for what was an awesome night, for all involved.

setlist:
Twilight Galaxy, Help I'm Alive, Satellite Mind, Poster of a Girl, Handshakes, Gold Guns Girls, Collect Call, Empty, Gimme Sympathy, Sick Muse, Dead Disco, Blindness, Stadium Love.
(encore) Monster Hospital, Combat Baby (acoustic).

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