Emily Haines and James Shaw’s Metric are kicking off their 2016 U.S. tour at the House of Blues in Chicago this weekend, with dates running through the end of March. Metric will be supporting their sixth studio album released last year, Pagans in Vegas. [Read more…]
As with my 2012, 2013, and 2014 Year in Review features, this feature looks back on a year of music with a summary of the highlights. This year, I attended about 50 shows, with hundreds of different sets of incredible talent and music to make sense of, not to mention trying to keep up with all of the studio releases from artists, new and old. This is my attempt to (subjectively) share my favorites of the year, from live shows to new songs and albums. You can also check out my Top 100 Concert Photos of 2015 in that separate article.
“Do you guys remember – some of you will remember – Metric shows before cell phone cameras? It’s really funny you know; that shit changed my life.” Metric’s Emily Haines, taking a moment mid-show at the Fox Theater in Oakland last night to share some candid thoughts about how advances in technology have affected her and what she shares with audiences during concerts; a bit of a lament over the way things used to be… a simpler time. Her philosophical aside was quite interesting (salted with some humor as well); to hear her unique perspective on live concert events today and the ubiquitous technology wherein everything and anything can be recorded with ease (and how bits can carry on, out of context). Funny enough, it was something I had mentioned in my coverage of the show the night prior at Mondavi Center in Davis, though some friends of mine who have been to Metric shows that I missed said it is something she has brought up in the past as well. In any event, with that and a nice chat at the end leading into their “Gimme Sympathy” closer, there seemed to be a different kind of dynamic with each audience in the past two nights (both awesome, but different). Fox Theater offered a GA floor whereas Mondavi was seated (though ended up sort of GA as it got going), but the larger Fox has the distinct separation between stage and audience, with the security pit, so the added discussion maybe bridged that literal gap to create a different sort of connection compared with Mondavi, wherein the band could reach down and literally touch the members of the audience with ease. In any event, having seen back-to-back shows over two nights, it was fun for me to compare the two. Both were stellar shows with great performances by Metric, as they tour over a dozen shows and dates between now and June. While for me on a personal level the Mondavi show was more engaging (since I was front row for the entire show), I took an opportunity with the Fox show to enjoy the set from different perspectives, and it was quite enjoyable to even move to the very back and have a better perspective with which to take in the impressive lighting effects on the stage, which is much different from seeing it all up close. All in all, another fantastic show by Metric and they have become one of my favorite bands to turn out to see live.
“If you’re here, you know I love a sing along, so don’t let me down, alright? Hook me up.” Metric’s Emily Haines, giving her introduction to the acoustic version of their classic song, “Gimme Sympathy”, which brought the intimate show at Mondavi Center to a close last night. 2013 is shaping up to be one of the best years in some time for live music concerts, and April in particular is weighted very heavy with competing and conflicting shows all over the West Coast due to Coachella and bands doing their own headlining shows in addition to that “granddaddy of U.S. festivals”. Even so, when Metric announced a little over a dozen dates running through June, I changed around my own schedule to be sure to see them twice. The only other artist I’m seeing twice this month is Prince, so I think that speaks volumes about the esteem with which I hold this band. With their show a Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, they certainly didn’t disappoint. Pre-show, looking around the beautiful venue at the crowd, it was hard to say what kind of audience the band was going to encounter. Opener Mona delivered and got them out of their seats, and by the time Metric came on stage, they were beaming with excitement that further fueled the band. It was definitely one of the top shows I’ve been to this year, and it was one of those shows that was so good, the only negative was those fleeting thoughts that it eventually had to come to an end. In any event, it was spectacular and unforgettable, and the band is one of the must-see acts touring today.
Metric has thus far this year plotted out dates through June, with appearances at Coachella as well as their own headlining shows in and around the United States. Having covered two of their shows last year, they are really a must see band with amazing music and songs from their latest studio album, Synthetica, get a lot of play on this tour. [Read more…]
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, presented by Goldenvoice, has announced their 2013 line-up of artists and bands performing at the annual music event in Indio, California. Featured artists include New Order, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phoenix, The Stone Roses, Blur, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The xx, Phoenix, Modest Mouse, Lou Reed, Metric, Of Monsters and Men, Johnny Marr, Moby, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Vampire Weekend, Jurassic 5, Hot Chip, Postal Service, Social Distortion, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and more. For residents of Northern California, like myself, are just as excited about the announcement, in that though we may not make the trek to Southern California, we have the benefit of what has been dubbed “Fauxchella” by SpinningPlatters.com… with concert venues in the San Francisco Bay Area playing host to many of the bands adding on their own headlining shows on dates just before and after the famous festival event.
This is the second and last of my 2012 “Year In Review” articles, though this one is mostly a pictorial. I went through the pictures I took at shows throughout 2012 and pulled out 100 of my favorites to republish here, in celebration of an amazing year for concerts and a fun year for me with photography. You can also check out my other Year in Review article with my Top 10 Live Music Concerts and Top 10 Studio Albums & Songs. [Read more…]
2012 was an amazing year for both new music and live concert events, and although writing this “year in review” proved to be a monumental task, it was fun for me to do it to relive some special moments and appreciate the opportunities I had over the past 12 months to find new music and attend so many awesome live shows. It’s funny because many concerts and tours are announced with little notice, so at the start of any given year, you don’t really know what to expect, and 2012 definitely held a lot of surprises. When all was said and done, I ended up going to 58 concerts in 2012, each of which featured anywhere from one to seven artists, so that is a lot of live performances.
Not So Silent Night (NSSN) is Live 105’s “Annual Holiday Rock Show”, with 2012 being the first year it spans two consecutive nights. This first night featured headliner Jack White, along with The Shins, Metric, Of Monsters and Men, The Gaslight Anthem, Two Door Cinema Club, and Our Vinyl Vows. I’ve never been a fan of traditional, outdoor festivals (for a variety of reasons), but this was an extremely well organized multi-artist event that can serve as a model for how to do them right, and comprised an excellent line-up of artists. The packed Oracle Arena was treated to seven great acts in under seven hours. It was a really fantastic evening celebrating the work of some really great bands, with Jack White closing things out with a really amazing performance.
In a perfect world, Metric would represent the future of music. But we don’t live in a perfect world, of course, but all the same, we have Metric and their music, and with my first experience seeing them live, it reaffirms my belief that there is tremendous talent in the music industry among some relatively newer bands (though Metric is five studio albums in, they still feel relatively fresh and new). Metric’s latest album, Synthetica, is one of my favorite new albums of the year, and most of it was played at the House of Blues Las Vegas last night. They make brilliant music that wants to be free – that wants to be played live – and they delivered with the fans in attendance last night, though talking with them, they came from not only all over the U.S. but outside of it as well. People who have discovered this band a really dedicated to experiencing their live shows, and having been to one now myself, I can understand why.