Although her parents were Americans, Emily Haines was born in New Delhi, India, lived her earliest years in London, England, and was raised in Ontario, Canada. She formed Metric with British-born James Shaw in 1998 in Toronto, Canada, and since then, the band also has based itself in Montreal, London, New York City and Los Angeles. The band consists of Haines (lead vocals, synthesizers, guitar, tambourine, harmonica, piano), Shaw (guitar, synthesizers, theremin, backing vocals), Joshua Winstead (bass, synthesizers, backing vocals) and Joules Scott-Key (drums, percussion). Although all of the members have recorded side projects, Metric as a band has five studio albums, the most recent being 2012’s Synthetica.
Metric has been performing in arena opening for Paramore, but tonight on a night off from that tour Metric headlined the more intimate Bowery Ballroom. Looking through the long blonde bangs covering much of her face throughout the performance, Haines told the audience that this was the first time the band had played the venue since 2005. With the freedom to play longer here, the band performed a 17-song set that featured songs from the two more recent and more popular albums, but also revived songs from the three earlier, less known albums. This included a rarely-performed “Love is a Place” from the band’s debut album. The set alternated between Haines singing in a pillow-talk voice while playing moody, ethereal runs on her two keyboard/synthesizer units to her rocking out to harder-edged synth-pop songs while dancing at the edge of the stage. Haines also spoke to the audience as a former New Yorker, acknowledging the recent mayoral election and dedicating the first encore, another older and lesser known Haines-James duet, “The Police and the Private”, “to the end of stop and frisk.” The concert ended with another duet, this one dedicated to the late Lou Reed, an acoustic version of “Gimme Sympathy.” Altogether, Metric’s set was the pinnacle of very polished of indie rock.
Visit Metric at www.ilovemetric.com.