At the end of March this year, Metric announced they would headline Budweiser Stage in Toronto on August 26th with Spoon and Interpol as support acts. The rest of the Doomscroller tour got built up around this Toronto date. As tempting as seeing Metric along with Spoon and Interpol was, I was hoping for a local club show.
A month after the Toronto concert announcement, Metric announced their upcoming new album, Formentera, along with a string of live dates to promote the latest release. “All Comes Crashing” and a lengthy 10-minute lead track, “Doomscroller,” were released before the new album’s July debut. London was eventually announced the day before the Toronto gig at the fabulous London Music Hall.
London was busy this evening – Sting was also in town performing to a sold-out Budweiser Stage 400 meters away from the London Music Hall, making parking near the venues a bit of a nightmare. Metric pulled in a large crowd at the London Music Hall, the venue already quite full as Bartees Strange opened up this evening at around 8 pm. I’d never heard of the band, but fans were screaming in adulation throughout their performance. Bartees Leon Cox Jr. and his band performed for over a half hour, and their songs have an oeuvre that spans multiple genres. At times sombre, through to moments of heavy cacophony, the material reminded me of UK band Doves. There’s some definite moxie to Bartees Strange – a name I’m sure we’ll hear more of in the coming years.
Emily Haines, James Shaw, Joshua Winstead, and Joules Scott-Key walked out onto a darkened stage and opened the evening with “Doomscroller,” the first track on Formentera. Scott-Key performed on a riser behind the band afront a sizeable black backdrop that featured rainbow-coloured vector lighting reminiscent of neon lighting, preserving the signage theme on the album cover.
With eight albums released over two decades (even though Grow Up and Blow Away was a 2007 release, it was technically material recorded for release in 2001), Metric has attained Canadian Rock and Roll royalty status. With an average of 2 to 3 singles off each album, the band can deliver a loaded setlist night after night of catchy hits. On that note, at the end of last year, the group released their first Greatest Hits compilation featuring ten tracks exclusively on vinyl; eight songs on the greatest hits release were performed this evening.
Some of the things I loved about this show:
– The age spread of attendees: I saw many young children in the venue. A young girl (attending with her younger sister and mom) was trying desperately to capture some of the show on a phone, reaching high to get the device overtop of the adults standing in front of her. She sang along to the majority of the show. At the back of the venue, another very young girl sat on her dad’s shoulders and watched Metric perform. Her wide-eyed enthusiasm for a few songs was contagious to anyone around her.
– The crowd was into it, arms in the air, pulsing along to the chorus of “Help I’m Alive,” beating like a hammer to the entire song.
– Limited edition violet tour vinyl variant for the record enthusiasts (of which there are many in London) available at the merch booth.
This was a great gig. Seeing Metric delivering an a-game performance in a club was a total win.
This Metric performance was promoted by Live Nation Ontario.
Metric Setlist London:
Gold Guns Girls
All Comes Crashing
Help I’m Alive
Combat Baby (Acoustic)
Enemies of the Ocean
Now or Never Now
Paths in the Sky
What Feels Like Eternity