Concert Mini-Review: Metric at Union Station, 8/4/10

What’s better than a concert?

A free concert of course!  And even a seven song set is better than no set at all when you’re counting quarters to buy ramen noodles for lunch.

I have to say, the big ol’ sense of Canadian pride – as well as indie pride – flooded me when I discovered that Metric were doing a free gig to promote Samsung’s latest phone.  Being asked to be the draw for such a promotion is a compliment to your influence among the tech-savvy young adults you want to hawk your wares to.  And when 5000 of your friends show up to see the show, shutting down a major block during rush hour, you know you’ve made it.

The success is deserved, as any fan will tell you.  Emily Haines et al have paid their dues and won the adoring love of many with their electro-indie rock, lyrics at turns sarcastic and clever or just plain sweet and sad.  My friend Morgan, who had never seen the group before, left the mini-gig content and a believer in the magic of live Metric.  It’s not just the calibre of music the band writes; it’s their genuine joy on stage coupled with fan interaction and extended solos that bear the mark of a band that will endure, a la Tragically Hip if they so desire.  Only Emily is way hotter than Gord Downie.

The set was mostly drawn from their latest disc, Fantasies, leaving me a bit wanting for older tracks; however, they didn’t play it safe and stick to the big hits one would expect from this festival-length performance.  Black Sheep, featured on the Scott Pilgrim vs the World soundtrack, is a relative unknown, while Stadium Love could have easily been supplanted by hit Monster Hospital.  They played primarily for their fans, showing them their appreciation – and appreciate, we did.

Empty @ Union Station

Setlist:

Black Sheep
Satellite Mind
Help I’m Alive
Empty
Gold Guns Girls
Gimme Sympathy
Dead Disco
Stadium Love


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