Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Metric @ Bowery Ballroom

@ Bowery Ballroom
November 19, 2013

In the midst of a tour opening for Paramore, a band many of us in the Snobocracy dismiss as rock n roll treif (though as much as Paramore can be despised, it must be remembered this is what the last of "popular" "rock music" looks like before rock music goes away forever), Metric took time out to play one for their own - going back to the Bowery Ballroom for the first time since 2005. This was not lost on Emily Haines, as this is her favorite venue, and to look back now, "Pre-Fantasies", as she put it, was something special. So she said this would be night for oldies, but there was plenty of Fantasies and Synthetica (which is no crime, in fact anyone who doesn't think Fantasies is still a perfect record should get their head examined).

Playing in front of a New York City crowd that for Metric is always an odd mix of the stylish and the self-styled stylish (and, at least upfront, a clear mix of verbally self-interested new recruits and old hands), the gang did take the relative intimacy of the Bowery Ballroom in their survey, swapping out recent all-out blasts for more tempered slices from Live It Out and elsewhere. But when the time came, whether it be for "Empty" or "Gold Guns Girls", it was back to the driven fire.

When this sudden show was announced, my immediate thought was "Lou". And so it was, as the Emily/Jimmy send-off of "Gimme Sympathy" was for Lou. In that song, Emily asks who would one rather be, the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. But for all that rock n roll perfection and rock n roll bluster (respectively), Metric is definitely a child of the Velvet school. They can bring you the hooks, the pop, the anthem. But there will always be something wonderfully lovingly dark and off-center about them. This was true as an electro-synth outfit in turn-of-the-century Garagepunk New York and it is true as a Toronto-based Rock-Band-of-the World. And this is how they will always be. At the Bowery, at Union Pool, at Radio City, at Madison Square Garden. Iconoclastic and yet Ingratiated. Like Lou.


Post a Comment

<< Home