“That’s entertainment,” gushed Emily Haines, Metric’s lead singer, last night at the 9:30 Club during the Canadian indie rock band’s performance of “Handshakes,” with an emphasis that made it clear she was speaking more of the show itself than simply singing along to her own lyrics. And what an entertaining show Metric put on, indeed.Sporting a sparkling black and white shift dress, Haines was a vision of indie glamour—swinging her strawberry blonde mane along to feverishly catchy tunes like “Dead Disco” and the encore-performed “Monster Hospital.” Her bandmates, however, were not upstaged, with a solo from guitarist James Shaw and, later, a performance of “Rock Me Now” (from the band’s re-released album Grow Up and Blow Away) during which Shaw and bassist Josh Winstead did some singing duty.
With three albums from which to pick tracks from, Metric put together a solid set—digging up some of their classics (“Combat Baby”), squeezing in the lesser-known (“Hustle Rose”) with the popular (“Poster of a Girl”) and even performing some new material. “Too Little Too Late,” a sad little gem from Live it Out, unfortunately, did not make the cut.
Sounding every bit as enchanting as on the band’s records, Haines’ voice made one wish lyric sheets were available to sing along—an activity the gorgeous lead singer encouraged throughout the band’s performance, upping the performer/audience dynamic to joyous heights. Who else but Haines could get an audience to not only sing, but feverishly hum along to songs?
With enough energy for two bands (and, in fact, both Haines and Shaw also perform with band Broken Social Scene) and catchy indie rock/pop ditties, one might wonder why Metric hasn’t blown-up like similar bands, but to do so would be to overthink the beauty behind the simplicity of the band. As Haines herself put it last night: “Too much meaning, too many answers—I don’t trust that, man.”