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Live: Metric

October 21, 2009


Metric played Toronto’s historic Massey Hall last night for the first of a two-night, sold out in 15-minutes gig, and for the fans who were able to get tickets, they definitely saw a show to remember.

Stoically walking out on to the stage without acknowledging the crowd, the quartet immediately started off with the quiet, somber Twilight Galaxy, but that wasn’t a sign of things to come. The band then slowly built up through softer numbers like Help, I’m Alive before forcing the crowd to its feet with a high energy version of HandShakes – and they would continue that formula to perfection for the rest of the evening.

Before performing Stadium Love, Haines talked to the crowd about all the various venues they have played in Toronto, both good and bad (“we’ve even had love for the Kool Hause,” she quipped), then professing her excitement to be playing Massey Hall. That unmistaken energy for the venue translated directly to her amazing stage presence for the entire set. If she wasn’t jumping up and down on her low cut cowboy boots behind the keyboard, she was writhing and dancing on every square inch of the stage like a female-version of Gord Downie, in her trademark mini skirt (this one silver and sequined) and white, shiny, fringed tube top. At one point she even talked about her fortunate progression through the Toronto school board, and how it “all led to this,” she said, referring to her outfit- “Being a coconut.”

A definite highlight was the subtle Canadian references thrown in, like a quick line a la Neil Young – “Hey hey, my my, rock n roll will never die” – between songs, and the famous Bob and Doug Mackenzie chant (if you don’t know what this is, note the 11 second mark here).

For the most part the band stuck to playing from their latest album, Fantasies, with occasional lapses into some older classics like Poster of a Girl, and the unforgettable encore which started with a jarring version of Monster Hospital.

Followed by that, the Texas half of the band then left the stage, leaving only Torontonians Haines and guitarist James Shaw. After a solid, two-minutes of by far the loudest applause of the evening, Haine’s talked about how playing Massey Hall has been a dream of theirs ever since they were little. She then said that there only seemed to be one appropriate way for them to finish the set: “We’re going to end this like a sing-a-long.”

With that they performed an unplugged and gorgeous version of Combat Baby, with the packed crowd of almost 3,000 on their feet and singing right along.

The best part is, they do it all again tonight.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Simon permalink*
    October 21, 2009 7:09 pm

    It’s pretty impressive that from Phoenix to Ryerson-frosh-week-on-olympic-island to Massey Hall, they manage to captivate the crowd with an equal amount of intimacy. Wish I coulda been there.

  2. Anupa permalink*
    October 21, 2009 11:10 pm

    Yeah, I`m kinda mad I missed this. Any show at Massey pretty much rocks. Makes me think of a conversation I had with a friend the other day about not seeing Arcade Fire there. It`s a beautiful venue, and certain performers-especially those acutely aware of what it means to the city-just make it electric.

  3. Val permalink
    October 22, 2009 3:28 pm

    Pretty upset I missed this show too. I like Fantasies a lot and think they put on a fantastic live show. Also, I’ve never been to Massey Hall!

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