Metric, Marquee Theatre, 10/10/12
Metric @ Marquee Theatre| 10/10/12
The moment the word "escape" crossed Emily Haines' lips, it's hard to go back.
In concert Wednesday, as it is on the band's latest release Synthetica, "escape" comes in the first verse of the first song. If there's a time to think about what that means, it comes later, after the waves of Metric's urgent dance-rock have faded into ear-ringing memory.
That's what Haines and Metric accomplish so well, better live even than on record, giving a sense of escape, of abandon, of rebelliousness, of alienation and letting it seep just under the skin. It's like a drug you don't know you've taken.
The Canadian quartet -- Haines on vocals and keyboard, guitarist James Shaw, bassist Josh Winstead and drummer Joules Scott-Key -- deals so effectively in big riffs, steady beats and the irresistible vocals of an amped-up siren that it's difficult at first pass to catch onto everything else.
The slashing guitars of "Youth Without Youth" perhaps mask a bit the flirting-with-danger impulsiveness of the lyrics. Pulsating and spacey, the song nevertheless drives that same message home.
Playing mostly from Synthetica, Metric accented the music with a nimble light show. Bursts of light emanated from stacks of bright neon squares, ever shifting colors and even pulsating themselves. It was a frame that helped deliver the sci-fi undertones that run through the album.
Fantasies also got plenty of attention from the band. The crowd boosted "Help I'm Alive" with fist pumping to the lines "My heart keeps beating like a hammer." "Stadium Love" closed out the set, with Haines stage presence easily crossing into arena level.