Metric wrecks it in Brooklyn
Secret, fan-only concert slays
Published: Thursday, June 14, 2012
Updated: Thursday, June 14, 2012 23:06
They took the stage to a slowly rising background of synths, and as it rose, Emily Haines began Metric’s homecoming show Wednesday night in Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg, a 500-person show that could only be attended by fans lucky enough to win tickets, with a telling sentence.
“I’m just as f***** up as they say.”
It was off to the races after that, as the Canadian rock band who got their start just a few blocks away from the show, in what Haines said was called a loft but was really a garage, played a triumphant show trumpeting the release of their deep, satisfying new album “Synthetica.”
Sure, it seemed they were going to play the new record front-to-back for the first few songs, but even that would have been a solid show. The synths followed Haines’ lead on their opening song, “Artificial Nocturne,” before launching into a crowd-pleasing, hard-rocking version of “Synthetica” lead single “Youth Without Youth.” Though it lacks a chorus, the song’s repeating melodies and slowly building sense of rebellion hit harder each time, and the audience definitely responded.
The band managed to throw a few crowd-pleasing oldies into the mix, the long, hard “Empty” from their 2005 album “Live It Out” and a frantic, extended version of “Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?” standout “Dead Disco,” which featured a fantastic guitar solo from James Shaw and a fantastic, almost inhuman performance from drummer Jules Scott-Key.
But as “Synthetica” was less than 48 hours old when they took the stage, it’s completely understandable that the band would focus on new tracks. The album’s all about losing sense of self in a digital world, which was ironically compounded by audience members filming the show on their glowing phones. “Lost Kitten” was minimalistic in a great way, with Haines almost mewing like the titular animal, and the title track and “Breathing Underwater” became an instant live classic that had better be a hit by the time Metric plays Radio City Music Hall in September.
The encore, though is where the band proved why some fans would have been willing to pay $50 on Craigslist for tickets to a free show. Though Metric skipped two songs from their planned setlist, 2009 single “Gold Guns Girls” received a hugely rewarding performance before Haines and Shaw finished the night with an acoustic singalong of their beautiful track “Gimme Sympathy.” “You’re gonna make mistakes, you’re young,” Haines and the audience sang, and the 20-something hipsters of Brooklyn, the generation of youth without youth, came together for a moment in harmony.