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Metric/Islands
March 27, 2006 – Showbox – Seattle, WA
by Katie Sauro

An incomparable confidence is visible on each and every one of the four faces on stage, a cool smugness that, for all intensive purposes, serves as a declaration of Metric’s official rockstardom. And with late-night TV appearances, a gold record, and some of the most energetic live performances this side of a not-so-geriatric Rolling Stones, the Canadian quartet has reason to exude such aplomb.

Much of the reason Metric has so much appeal, as we at the Wig have repeatedly mentioned, is vocalist and keyboardist Emily Haines. The synth-punk princess easily commands the attention of every single person in the room, purring into the mic and swaying her hips seductively during slower songs, vamping it up for the faster electro-pop ones. Haines is everything a band could want in a frontwoman, ferociously banging on the keys, tossing mic stands, even throwing herself to the ground in a fit of passion and, most likely exhaustion, while the three gents behind her create quick, throbbing beats that scream sexuality.

Most of the band’s set consisted of the new album,
Live It Out, released late last year, but never the ones to disappoint fans, they mixed in some older material, as well, hosting a boisterous sing-along for the clamoring crowd. With this raucous performance, Metric has proven that no deprecating comparison to 80s new wave or powerful female-fronted bands will do. They are no longer merely a more melodic and accessible version of Yeah Yeah Yeahs—they can finally stand on their own as true rock stars.

Opening for Metric was Islands, a 7-piece band full of multi-instrumentalists (including synths, strings, banjo, and horns) led by frontman Nick Thorburn and drummer Jamie Thompson, both formerly of the short-lived, but critically-adored, the Unicorns. They played a diverse set of poppy gems and dancehall-influenced numbers from a debut album to be released next month. Also opening was the End of Fashion, a mostly-mediocre and formulaic pop-punk band from Australia.


Check out what we’ve said about Metric in the past by visiting our
ARCHIVES.