Where: Western Washington University
When: May 24, 2012
Status: 3.5 out 5
I’ve been to many Metric shows, however, this one was memorable for more reason’s than one. For starters, the band were premiering their new material to virgin ears. Second, it was at a university campus in Bellingham, a total traditional college show.
The staff were first year students hired as concession people, ushers, ticket takers and security. There was something charming about seeing an 18-year-old hipster kid trying to be the bad ass security.
This was actually the most well-behaved crowd considering that the attendance were students with zero alcohol consumption. It didn’t end up being the frat party nightmare that could’ve been.
For those curious, Western Washington University looks almost exactly like Cap U in North Vancouver down to the landscape. While my best friend and I walked around campus, living in the nostalgia of my college years, we bumped into Metric themselves (as in the band). We were both lost and we decided to find our way together to our respectable locations.
It was cool to be walking beside the band I idolize and be close to Emily Haines. I wasn’t as star struck as I thought that I would be ‘cause I was too distracted by the lack of culinary choice Josh made for dinner considering that there was a kick ass burger joint within distance. The friendly banter ensued between fan and band over athletic ability climbing the hills around campus before departing ways.
The show itself was un-epic. I wasn’t feeling the new material which dominated 95% of the set list. Understandably so since this show was understood as being an album premier with very few hits scattered. The new material didn’t grab me. It felt hallow and the riffs felt as though it was missing an ingredient. It sounded as though they were punching in the time card. Lyrically it wasn’t as poetic as Fantasies. It was almost as tough the band just took fortunes out their cookies, stuck it on the fridge like magnetic poetry and made a song out of it.
I’m not ready to dismiss it entirely at first listen as it took me a while to get into Fantasies outside the lead off single, Gimme Sympathy. A band is allowed to have one bad record, this may be it.
The audience was standing, every single kid ‘cause they were really trying to respectfully get into the material, however, they weren’t feeling it either.
When the hits came out, Emily seemed more animated. It was as though she had to force herself to be a front women ‘cause she seemed lost with her persona (not in a good way).
This was the first time both my best friend and I have seen a Metric show in which Emily wasn’t hitting the nose candy before performing. The sober Emily is nervous and insecure, especially with the new material. In fact the band seemed unsure of the new material.
The lighting was minimal but effective, almost arena quality. As for the sound of the venue, it was worse than a high school gym. The auditorium is clearly not build for music shows. Even filtering ear plugs didn’t help the sound at all.
Even though the new material so far sounds like a waste, the evening itself certainly wasn’t. It was about the unique experience of having said you went to an exclusive college show in premier of the new material than it was about the show itself.