Reflections on Metric’s first Las Vegas visit
The Emily Haines-fronted indie band rocked the House of Blues on October 6.
Wed, Oct 10, 2012 (6 p.m.)
Photo: Red Features
1. This band has put on some serious rock ’n’ roll muscle since the catchy power-pop of its 2003 debut. Metric keeps the show short, sticking to mostly meaty, up-tempo songs from latest album Synthetica and 2009’s Fantasies. The sound is clean and full, performed with the technical quality of the recordings, augmented by a pummeling bass and guitar-shredding flair.
2. Emily Haines remains a compelling frontwoman, alternating between head-banging over her keyboard, stomping in time with a tambourine and teasing the crowd as she yelps and purrs into the mic.
3. The stage setup, which looks borrowed from Tron: Legacy-era Daft Punk, is the perfect complement to the sleek and sexy electro undertones that pervade Synthetica. When it’s time for the encore, the backdrop transforms into a giant digital clock counting down the two minutes until the band returns to the stage.
4. During a break between songs, a fan gives Haines what appears to be a handmade book: “It’s nice to get a book,” she says. “In all the other cities, people throw bras and underwear and beer onstage, but Vegas gives us a book! Go figure.”
5. When Metric closes with an acoustic rendition of synth-heavy hit “Gimme Sympathy,” it could be cheesy and self-indulgent—especially when the band encourages the crowd to sing along. Instead, as their voices grow loud enough to overcome Haines’, it feels like a moment of sincere mutual appreciation between artist and fans.
6. The only downside to the evening: The floor was so tightly packed that dancing proved impossible, a cruel fate for Metric fans. The rest of the crowd vied for space between the three main level bars.