Concert Review: Metric in London, Ontario

Calling all Metric fans!


We knew Emily Haines & co. were cool. But last night’s show may have even surpassed their usual benchmark.


Stars was the opener for Metric. But they didn’t seem like an opening act as much as they did a co-act. They had almost the same size crowd rooting for them on the floor as Metric did, and the audience even knew most of their songs. But I guess that’s because being an indie rock band from Montreal these days is a good thing. It generally means you know how to play good music. It’s no surprise these Metric fans knew who Stars was.

 Stars in London, ON


Stars in London, ON


Stars in London, ON


Metric began their set by taking us through their Synthetica record. The first three songs (Artificial Nocturne, Youth Without Youth and Speed the Collapse) are seamlessly tied to one another on the actual record, and they did the exact same thing live. Emily Haines is a very talented lady. Aside from pulling out the tambourine for multiple songs (which seemed to a recurring theme throughout the night across both Stars and Metric…), she plays everything, sings everything, and just…does everything.


Metric in London, ON


Metric in London, ON

As mentioned in my album review, I like Metric because they play epic music. Hearing epic music is one thing, but feeling it is another. And last night, Metric was all about the feel. You could literally feel it in your bones.


Metric in London, ON


Metric in London, ON


Half way through the set, Haines told the story of how the band met their good friend Tim  Glasgow at one of their first shows in London. Now, Tim and the band are very close. “Every step, things are happening,” she said. Guitarist James Shaw explained how Tim is currently fixing Metric’s studio in Toronto so they can make another record. So naturally, how did we thank Tim? By literally screaming, “ONE! TWO! THREE! TIM!” so he could hopefully hear the faint voices of a few thousand people in a city 200km away.


Metric in London, ON


There were a few technical difficulties along the way, with mics cutting out a couple of times and perhaps an overload of pounding guitar when we instead should have been hearing the bass. But Haines’ hypnotizing voice seemed to trump every one of these minor glitches. I’m just left with her “ahhhs” from Breathing Underwater stuck in my head…


Metric in London, ON


At each song, particularly Help, I’m Alive, and then again during the encore’s Gold Guns Girls, I thought the show had reached its peak. Everyone was just into it. But then, Haines decided to pay homage and dedicate her last song to her long time friends, Stars. “You have to want everything. You can’t aim for half of what you want.” She and Shaw sang the most captivating rendition of Gimme Sympathy I have ever heard. To say it was acoustic isn’t enough. Everything about it was amazing, and it was amazing enough to warrant a legitimate standing ovation.


Here’s last night’s set list:

1. Artificial Nocturne

2. Youth Without Youth

3. Speed the Collapse

4. Dreams So Real

5.  Empty

6. Help, I’m Alive

7. Synthetica

8. Clone

9. Breathing Underwater

10. Sick Muse

11. Dead Disco

12. Stadium Love


1. Black Sheep

2. Monster Hospital

3. Gold Guns Girls

4. Gimme Sympathy (Acoustic)


All photography by Asha Ramji

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