Review and Photos – Metric at the Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver, Apr 18 2019
– review by Julie Rankin, photos by Kirk Chantraine
“You know you can let your darkness out at a Metric concert”, lead vocalist Emily Haines told the energetic crowd at the Pacific Coliseum. Before easing into the last chorus of “Breathing Underwater”, Haines took a moment to share her meaning behind the lyrics and note that “sometimes things just !#@% suck”.
Things don’t suck for Metric, who expressed amazement at being together and performing for such a large group. Despite a brief disappearance from the stage following their first song, the veteran performers put on an excellent show, complete with Haine’s characteristic dancing and a notable guitar solo from James Shaw on the 2009 single “Gold Guns Girls”.
Formed in 1998, Toronto’s Metric consists of Haines on lead vocals and synthesizers, Shaw on guitar, Joshua Winstead on bass and Joules Scott-Key on drums. The group played a selection of songs from their latest albums as well as a few older tunes. Songs from their fourth studio album, Fantasies, garnered the biggest reaction from the crowd, prompting even those in the stands to raise from their seats.
For those with more darkness to let out, Metric saved a few of their more cathartic singles for the encore. They began with the first single from 2018’s Art of Doubt, “Dark Saturday” and closed out the night with their latest single, “Now or Never Now”. The band rounded out the five song finale 2005’s “Monster Hospital” and 2009’s “Help I’m Alive”, as well as “Black Sheep” from the soundtrack for Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.
Well-dressed in a suit and tie, Murray A. Lightburn, opened the show. The Dear’s lead vocalist played a selection of acoustic ballads for his early set. As he thanked the bands to follow, he noted that opening for Metric and July Talk was a “nerve-wracking gig”. Nervous or not, his simple set was well-played and enjoyable, even from the far-off vantage point of a stadium bleacher.
July Talk played next. Vocalist Leah Fay’s melodic voice provided a pleasant contrast against the roaring guitars of their alternative rock set. The juxtaposition of hers and fellow vocalist Peter Dreimanis’ raspy voice in certain tracks were a highlight of the group’s performance. The two were joined on stage by guitarist Ian Docherty, bassist Josh Warburton and drummer Danny Miles along with a female backing vocalist. The Toronto group, who released their last album in 2016, performed two new songs, “The News” and “Premonition” for the excited crowd.
More Metric at the Pacific Coliseum photos: