Tuesday, May 5, 2009

An intimate evening with Emily Haines

Metric frontwoman Emily Haines and her partner in [almost] crime[s] Jimmy Shaw, have taken it to the road. And it is so good to hear it. To promote the new Fantasies album, the pair gave a special acoustic performance for Edmontonians who had either pre-ordered the new album, or had been lucky enough to win tickets. My album wasn't pre-ordered, nor am I a lucky person: good thing a friend of mine always wins shit.

The venue was a little theatre on the north end with all the seating removed to accommodate the 300+ hardcores that had run all over the city trying to grab tickets being given away by a local radio station. I loved the anticipation: you knew these were, for the most part, the fans that would know every word to every song on the new album.

Listening to the pair do their hard-rockin' tracks from Fantasies as acoustic numbers was really interesting. It certainly added new dimensions to tracks like Gold Guns Girls and Gimmie Sympathy and the rendition of Front Row was like hearing it whispered from Emily's lips to my ears. It's amazing how personal it got in that space.

Gems of the night, for sure, included the impromptu break-out of Anthem for a Seventeen Year-Old Girl and the cover of Pink Floyd's Nobody's Home, with vocals by Shaw.

On the same stroke, previous Metric shows had me geared up for some really high energy; not only from Emily, but from the crowd as well. It was a little disappointing to look around and see one or two people swaying along to the music. It was calm enough to hear camera flashes going off. I got shushed when I started singing along to the first song. What the Fuck? At least the crowd was singing along by the end of the 10-song set (with some serious urging from Ms. Haines), but still... did all the old Metric fans get married and buy a house and start having babies or something? What happened here?!

Let's move on to the new album. It is Metric through and through: Rock! Guitars! Dancing! Beats! Electronica! Everything we've come to expect... but pared down a little. More simplistic. Live It Out (don't get me wrong, I love that album) got a little heavy at some points, like the band was focusing so hard on making a point that it starting dragging on the music. Fantasies simply doesn't make that mistake. It comes back to the listener playful and [light]-hearted. Not to say that the album ooozes cheery pop licks and pollyanna lyrics; but rather that they took a hard look at themselves and were satisfied with what they saw.

This third (or fourth... depending on how die-hard you are) album really showcases a band comfortable with their trademark sound. Is this a good thing, though? Only the next album will tell. Let's hope this contentment doesn't lead to stagnation.

You can buy the album HERE

Metric - Gimme Sympathy (can I get a "Fuck-Yeah"? My rock-out track of the year so far!)

1 comment:

  1. Fantasies is quickly rising up in my daily "must listens." Freakin' love it!

    However, I must throw out my nomination for "Fuck Yeah Rock-out Track of the Year": Stadium Love