The guy behind me was jumping up and down before the show began. “I can’t help it! I’m just so excited!” he exclaimed. I looked at him, smiled, and screamed, “I’m excited too!”
Metric shows are always a lot of fun. The mere thought of their high energy performance is enough to fuel fans before the show begins and carry them all the way through to the next show. Their performance at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles Tuesday night was no exception.
Shouts of “I love you Emily!” roared through the night sky between every song, the audience expressing their appreciation of the dynamic and captivating lead singer, Emily Haines. Typically the passionate cheers occurred as Haines was setting up for the next song. Without stopping, without breaking concentration, it was apparent Haines felt the love. A smile would start to appear on Haines’ face and then she and the band would launch into yet another crowd favorite – the musical equivalent of “I love you too”.
Rather than make the audience wait, wonder, and hope they’ll play it, Metric played “Help I’m Alive” fairly early in the set. It was a kind of gift, as if to say, “Now you can relax and enjoy the remainder of the show, without wondering if or when we’ll play that song.” Playing the encore-worthy hit early in their set was also quite a testament to Metric. The songs that preceded “Help I’m Alive” and the songs that followed punctuated the fact that Metric is no one-hit-wonder. Every song in their set is equally strong and infectious.
Metric’s concert at the 5,900-capacity Greek Theatre signifies quite a journey from the nights they used to play Club Spaceland (capacity: 260). During one of several moments in which she expressed gratitude to all in attendance, Haines reflected on those early days in Los Angeles. “As I sing these songs it brings me back to that time. I remember eating expired Power Bars from the 99 Cent store,” she said with laughter.
“I guess – when you look back on your life story – you want your life to be a collection of really great jokes” – Emily Haines
As I listened to Haines speak and reflected on their lyrics, I realized what I like most about Metric is that they celebrate all aspects of life, even the things others would classify as “fucked up”. It’s what makes us who we are – the good things and the challenges. The celebration is that we’re here to experience it all, together.
“I guess – when you look back on your life story – you want your life to be a collection of really great jokes. ” Haines continued.
As Metric played “Clone”, the crowd sang along, making the song their own personal anthem. “Nothing I’ve ever done right happened on the safe side. . .” the voices of the audience joined Haines proudly. Then, in celebration of it all, “My regret only makes me stronger yet!”
Listening to Metric, experiencing their live shows, embarking on the journey from clubs to amphitheaters with them, it’s easy to understand why the audience adopts their songs as personal anthems. Truth and acceptance. The truth is ok. Embrace it. Accept and celebrate who you are.
The light display along the back of the stage transformed into a countdown clock prior to the encore. Again, a kind of gift, alerting the crowd that the band would of course return, no need to worry. Rather than expend a lot of energy, creating thunderous applause and ear-piercing cheers to woo the band back to the stage, the audience gained energy in anticipation of the band’s return. As the moment neared, the audience roared, “Ten. . . nine. . . eight. . . seven. . . six. . . five. . . four. . . three. . . two. . . one!” and Metric took the stage again.
“It’s rock and roll, for fuck sake. I’m glad we survived. I’m glad you’re here with us. This is something we built together, at this point,” Haines said, once again thanking, and metaphorically sharing the stage with, the audience. The passionate anthem sing-a-longs continued until Metric left the stage and the house lights came on.
In addition to being a great band, Metric is an example of hard work and perseverance paying off. Even as they celebrate their successes now, they continue to work hard. I saw them play, back in the day, at Spaceland – Metric has been giving it everything they’ve got, every step of the way.
Metric‘s live shows are consistently phenomenal. I’m so excited to be giving away a pair of tickets to see them at The Greek Theatre! I saw Metric’s secret show earlier this year and the new songs are as wonderful live as your old favorites.
One lucky Rock Is A Girl’s Best Friend reader will win a pair of tickets to see Metric at The Greek Theatre LA on Tuesday October 9. Here’s what you need to know to enter:
The contest begins now and ends at 12:01am ET October 1, 2012 (9:01pm PT September 30)
You will see there are several ways you can enterand you can get additional entries for each thing you choose to do. You can follow us, tweet about us, like us on Facebook, and more. ENTER NOW
Winner (1) will be selected by random.org and notified via email on October 1, 2012. Winner will have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is selected
Your tickets will be available for pick up at Will Call at The Greek Theatre on the evening of the show
Transportation and accommodations not included
Metric (photo by: Justin Broadbent)
Metric is currently on tour in support of their fifth studio album, Synthetica. For every ticket purchased a download of their first single, “Youth Without Youth” will be delivered to fans as well as a digital copy of Synthetica and 5 Synthetica Reflections tracks.
The new album follows on the 2009 self-release of Fantasies, which debuted Top 10 worldwide on iTunes Rock Albums charts and made Metric the first band to achieve its first Top 20 hit at U.S. commercial radio on a self-release. In addition to playing packed houses the world over in support of Fantasies, Metric picked up JUNO Awards for “Alternative Album of the Year” and “Band of the Year,” contributed the lead single to the Scott Pilgrim vs The World soundtrack, and landed on the Academy Awards’ short list for Twilight‘s “All Yours,” which they co-wrote with composer Howard Shore. They have since partnered up with Howard Shore on another project: The score to David Cronenberg’s latest film Cosmopolis, which was composed by Shore and performed by Metric.
Lead single “Youth Without Youth” was released digitally throughout North America on May 1st, tackling the topic of a fraying social state with bristling energy, lyrical complexity and driving rhythm. Strong beats and futuristic, yet organic sounds propel Synthetica from the pulsating, grimy throb of lead track “Artificial Nocturne” through the infectious singalong of “Speed The Collapse,” gut-wrenching meditation “Dreams So Real”, and hypnotic morality twister and album closer, “Nothing But Time.” In all, fans can expect a typically unforgettable night full of highlights from both previous Metric releases and the powerful, catchy, and lyrically captivating new Synthetica.
For “official” information about The Greek Theatre, you can check out their website, but here’s my take: The Greek Theatre is one of my all-time favorite music venues. Start to finish, The Greek Theatre is an EXPERIENCE! You can get there early, picnic, and drink wine. If you don’t mind a walk, you can park on Vermont and enjoy the walk to and from the venue. If you’re reading Rock Is A Girl’s Best Friend, chances are you’re not the type to leave the show early, so you can take the easy route and commit to the stacked parking option. The venue is beautiful, outdoors, surrounded by trees. The sound is impeccable. I’ve seen some of my favorite shows at The Greek and I’m very excited to share these opportunities with you.
There are some bands I will continue to write about; Nico Vega is one of them. It was great to see such a sizable crowd arrive early to see “the opening band.” That’s only in quotes because Nico Vega is much more than an opening band, and the next time they play The Hollywood Palladium, I expect that they’ll be headlining.
Their set was too short. Yet, within that compact set, fans were treated to more energy, fire, and great music than you often experience during another band’s full set. Aja Volkman can sing, scream, and thrash around on stage, with grace. Both women and men seem to admire her combination of ferocity and poise. The only people who didn’t know how to receive Volkman were Palladium security whom, upon seeing Aja balance on the rail to sing amongst the crowd, looked as if they were going to go into cardiac arrest.
Dan = drums
Dan Epand used to play drums. He’s since become the drums. Whereas he used to hit the drums and cymbals to create the sound, now his body is merely a more flexible extension of the drum kit. He levitates off his seat each time he strikes the drum. There’s an illusion that Epand has really long arms as he extends the drumsticks well overhead before hitting the next beat. I watched him walk off stage after their set because I expected the entire drum kit to move with him. Epand, whom some may mistake as the shy quiet one, has become an animal on the drums. Just remember – the “quiet” ones are usually the most fun.
While Volkman is climbing, jumping, twirling, writhing, and flawlessly singing, Rich Koehler is doing the equivalent, balanced with cool restraint, while playing guitar. Koehler may not be wireless yet, but that guitar cable does not restrain him from jetting around the stage, often in playful musical conversation with Volkman.
All of this is happening while the crowd sings all the words, jumps, and screams for more. The audience was ready for this show – they responded as if they had been craving Nico Vega for a very long time. And that’s indeed possible. Nico Vega represents all that’s cool, sexy, smart, raw, edgy, kind, authentic, strong, and graceful. You may find yourself feeling anxious between Nico Vega shows as you await your next “fix” (I often do). Nico Vega – the 100% legal drug – just say “Yes!”
I don’t remember what the 1st biggest surprise was, but I do remember the original title of this post: To Anyone Who Dreamed To Have a Life Without a Boss. . .
To find out why that was the original title, click “play” and watch the video below.
Or, if you prefer to play a game to figure out why that was going to be the title of this post, don’t click “play.” Instead:
Jump below the video.
Read the rest of this post.
Guess why that might have been the original title.
Then come back here.
And see if you’re right.
Don’t worry, it’s not a hard quiz. It’s been psychologically proven that people like to feel smart (not sure why we needed a study to prove that one). So if I can make you feel smart while you’re reading this, then chances are you’ll keep coming back to read my blog. That’s also why those quizzes that play in movie theaters before the feature film are so easy.
But anyway, METRIC! I’d seen this band before – back in the days of one-syllable-bands-that-begin-with “The”: The Hives, The Vines, The Strokes, etc. I’m pretty sure I saw Metric open for at least one of these bands. And I’m pretty sure I thought they were alright. But, at The Greek Theater, Metric held their own, so much so I thought perhaps maybe they were headlining. (This thought was exacerbated by the fact that we arrived late, which is easy to do when a show starts before sunset). Judging by the audience’s reaction, we weren’t the only ones who thoroughly enjoyed Metric. Here’s a bit of their performance:
Now, about Phoenix. . . First of all, every good-looking person in LA was at this show.
Phoenix live at The Greek
Secondly, I definitely wasn’t supposed to have a camera in there. So, as you can imagine, getting this video was a challenge. Right – nobody would want a great video to get out. There are some people (NIN), venues (Hollywood Bowl) and promoters who understand that getting media out there is a GOOD thing. And then there are others that think, “OH NO! What if somebody sees it and decides they like this band and must see them when they come through town next?” Or “What if somebody thinks ‘Wow, The Greek looks like a beautiful venue and the sound is great. I should go there sometime. . .’ ” Or “What if a music supervisor sees it and decides she needs the music for this year’s blockbuster film?” It’s not like I’m making money off this. You are. It’s good for you. I promise.
Bonnaroo Ferris Wheel and Arcade
So, Phoenix. . . I first stumbled upon them live at Bonnaroo earlier this year. I was backstage before the band went on and just before the singer arrived. His plane had been delayed, causing him to arrive at the festival grounds just 20 minutes prior to going on stage. Until that moment, it was questionable whether the band would miss their slot entirely. Instead, band members jumped up and down and squealed (like school girls, but not annoying) when they were reunited. What followed describes something I haven’t seen in music for a little while — a band that actually LOVES each other. These guys were genuinely excited to see each other, took a deep interest in the well-being of the others and could not wait to get onstage. Perhaps a lot of bands feel this way and are just too cool to express it, but Phoenix didn’t hold anything back. Just prior to going on-stage they huddled:
“Let’s make this the best show we’ve ever played!” one member exclaimed.
“Let’s make these people go NUTS!” called out another.
“Let’s have fun!”
And on and on until everybody had expressed himself and the entrance music kicked in.
“That’s us!” they cheered, and they all went running for the stage.
I had a press pass, and was allowed a camera. . . but I was so mesmerized that I forgot to use it.
That was Bonnaroo, but something tells me that pre-show huddle was not a first. It felt like a ritual, and one that pretty much guarantees a good show. Phoenix gets themselves so amped that they have no choice but to have a great show. And their fans – well, they’re going to have fun, like it or not. Phoenix’s performance at The Greek was as enjoyable as ever. The band member’s love for each other reaffirmed and the fans having the time of their lives. Phoenix’s performance is light and fun, yet seriously good. The Greek is the perfect venue for a show like this. Outside, warm air, perfect sound, relaxed security.
Just kidding about that last part. Don’t want anyone to get in trouble.