Metric storms into Boston with new wave rock rhythms, electric energy and poetic lyricism.

2/13/19 – House of Blues

After Latin rockers Zoe performed a spirited, artful set reminiscent of an early Interpol album, the House of Blues channeled serious Blade Runner and Stanley Kubrick vibes as Metric stormed the stage. Picture an underground club scene from a tech noir film with a thickly-packed audience pulsing with dancing, fast-changing neon backdrops, throbbing strobes, and electrifying beats. That’s a Metric performance.

Lead singer and keyboardist Emily Haines came out from behind backstage bursting with enthusiasm, clad in a Lady Gaga “Telephone”-era spiked bra, black biker jacket, and black jeans, adding to the tech noir vibe of the show. White strobe lights panned across the audience as the band began their set with “Love You Back.” Lead guitarist James Shaw’s bluesy rock guitar hooks progressed into a more electric sound as Haines’ ethereal, dangerously punky vocals opened the show. The band dove into each of their seven albums for their impressive nineteen-song setlist, carefully orchestrating a balance of tracks old and new. The band is touring behind the release of Art of Doubt, their seventh studio album. Having opened for big-name musicians such as The Rolling Stones, Arcade Fire, and Bloc Party, Metric held their own, creating an explosively vibrant experience that kept the crowd jumping throughout the night.

The audience added to the positive, mystical atmosphere of the show. Men were dressed in flannels, Dr. Martens, beanies, and black jeans, and women sported messy buns, dressed in torn, high-waisted jeans, nose rings, and combat boots: a artful aesthetic for an equally creative and highly stylized show. Nearly everyone in the audience was singing along with Haines, or dancing to the charged rhythms as Metric played some of their most beloved tracks, such as “Black Sheep,” “Gimme Sympathy,” “Help I’m Alive,” and “Gold Guns Girls.” During the latter, magenta waves of light illuminated the House of Blues in time with Haines’ powerful chord progressions. It was refreshing to see an audience so engrossed and so into the band’s vibe as Haines pulled them in, fearlessly dancing along to her tracks and whipping her blonde hair to the beat.

On slower tracks like “Breathing Underwater,” off of their 2012 LP Synthetica, Haines broke out the tambourine to accompany her celestial tones and synth-rock riffs. The track was stunning to hear live, with Haines clearly feeling passion as she sang: “Lights of days / Will beat a path through the mirrored maze / I can see the end / But it hasn’t happened yet.” The love song is an evaluation of young, naive lovers, where Haines comes to realize that perhaps the dream of having a flawless relationship isn’t as easy or as attainable as it initially appears at the beginning.

Metric’s ability to put on such an enthralling show with crisp, raw vocals, poetic lyricism, and enthusiasm prove they’re a stunning band to see live—Haines’ fun, dynamic stage presence and her bandmates’ strong instrumentation come together to create a memorable concert-going experience.

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