Everyone has a playlist that gets Them through the day. Mine has the Metric’s album Synthetica on it with an impressive number of repeats. I've wanted to see them live and this week I had the chance. On the North American tour this year, Metric will made its way to Southern California and most notably, the Greek Theatre on October 9. I was in a group of familiar photographers ready to cover the show. Happily they played my favorites at the top of the show. Youth Without Youth, live was the highlight for me personally. A few weeks ago, I was able to talk to Jimmy Shaw (Metric’s lead guitarist) about the tour. When I spoke with Jimmy, he said the tour was going well. He and the band were outside Pittsburg making their way to the next stop when we spoke.
"Every tour, we try to do something different. It has the ability to have such a repetitive nature, but we avoid that," said Shaw. "We don't have any repeat venues this time. We have never played [at] Radio City Music Hall or the Greek, and we'll be in there. They are just beautiful old venues and iconic locations."
Shaw also talked about music, touring, political opinions and the unusual writing process that brought Metric to us all. He said writing the music for the album came in an interesting way.
The new album has a unique haunting sound and I was curious about how it came about. “I don’t think we over-conceptualized at all; we just went into the studio and did it,” Shaw explained. “We went into creative mode."
To create the songs, Metric pulled from a collection of previously made lyrics and beats.
"When a song wasn’t working quite right, we just scrapped it for parts,” said Shaw. “One lyrical line, a melody that we liked…we had those pieces and made the songs into what they are on the album."
When asked about their contact with the fans, Shaw was excited to say they are more than happy to have fun with the people that love their music.
“Josh gives away tickets every night; he’ll literally stick them to a tree and post a photo on Instagram and say, ‘Here are your tickets!’” said Shaw.
He also said that more than a few times, the band has watched as people ran to the location five minutes after the post to collect the tickets. The fans get involved and the band has fun with it. It is another way for everyone to keep away from repetition.
The band posts on the blog to keep the fans informed. In this political climate, everyone is making his or her opinions known, and the band is no different. When asked if the conversations had been positive or confrontational, Shaw had only positive things to say.
“You know, if you hear our music and all you want to do is dance, that’s fine. If you want to have a little more depth then the conversation is there,” said Shaw. “We’re not forcing anyone to agree, but it is an important time to talk about what is going on.”
As of right now, Metric does not have any plans to collaborate with other artists.
"I wish I could say yes. I would love to have that,” said Shaw. “Honestly though, with all the touring right now, it's not something that can be planned."
However, I still have hope for a big collaboration in the works.
"You know, I say now that it won’t happen, but then I'll get home and jump right back into the recording studio. That has happened in the past,” said Shaw.
After seeing them live, I am excited for more and hoping that a collaboration may happen. As for the show itself, it was a lovely way to spend the night. The Greek Theater is actually where my love of live shows was born. For that reason, and a lot of others, I am always thrilled to get back to the venue and enjoy the atmosphere, music and people that always seem to take over the night of a show. The excitement in the crowd really came out when fans screamed “We love you! Emily, we love you!” from the time the band emerged to the first notes were played. Taking a moment as a band, it was a calm and collected intro that quickly turned into a show worthy of Synthetica.
Frontwoman Emily Haines has the energy and emotion to inspire the audience and keep them on their feet. Touring in support of the new album Synthetica, METRIC, as if by my request, played my favorites at the beginning of their set. Youth without Youth was perfectly done with energy and enthusiasm that the song demands.
The show itself was more than a concert, it was an imaginative and beautiful light show. Using the light almost as a member of the band. With well timed and clearly expertly choreographed lighting, the show had another complete level to it. After interviewing Jimmy Shaw last month prior to the show, he seemed happy about some new developments in the live show. As he promised, the show did not disappoint and was very much a large venue production. The band will be continuing their tour through the year and if you have not yet had the pleasure of seeing them live, I highly recommend it. The album itself is amazing but it is clearly meant to be heard live. The dimensions and the life come out in the performances in a way that is just not possible in a living room.
Till next time,
Cheers and see you at the show!