It’s always hard to comprehend what a band’s thoughts may be when they are scheduled to play a larger venue only to not sell enough tickets to fill half of it. This happen to be the case this past Monday when Metric and their supporting act Stars rolled into town to perform to about 1,500 fans in the largest venue in the Kelowna, Prospera Place. The stage was originally intended for a full concert setup, but instead was moved up into a half bowl setting. This was hard to believe since a couple nights previous they played to solid numbers at Rodgers Arena in Vancouver.
Stars opened up with an energetic 45 minute set which spanned songs from most of their catalogue. Lead singer Torquil Campbell managed to excite the crowd with his funky looks and equally as stylish dance moves. It was hard not to feed off the good energy this band brings with their electro style pop rock that every so often makes you believe you’ve been transported back into the 80s. The crowd seemed to be quite familiar with the bands work, but really came alive for Star’s popular hit “Take Me to the Riot”. The band continues to expand their fan following and deservingly so, as they are as much of a treat to watch as they are to listen to.
After a quick break between sets the lights began to smoulder a subterranean ocean blue and Metric took the stage. I was quite eager to see what Metric could do in an arena setting having only previously watched them at festivals. Emily Haines and the band looked and sounded in top form as they began with the evocative track “Artificial Nocturne“off their latest release Synthetica. The audience was slower to respond to the newer tracks which dominated most of the first half of the set. It wasn’t till “Dead Disco” when the show was turned up to 11. The thumping base line ripped into the chests of the faithful and it turned into a dance party immediately. The response to the song was exceptional. It was apparent that most of the audience was thirsty for the hits. The band finished the set with “Stadium Love” exiting the stage with clocks counting down their return in lights. When they returned they tore through “Black Sheep” and “Gold Guns Girls” as Emily cut a rug all over the stage in her heeled boots. The last song and farewell of the night was a stripped down version of ”Gimmie Sympathy” with only James Shaw and Emily Haines on stage. It was a wonderful version with only acoustic guitar and Emily’s marvellous vocals. Towards the end on the song Joshua Winstead and Joules Scott-Key returned to the stage to promote a sing along and bid farewell with the rest of the band.
I really hope the crowd size won’t deter the band from returning in the future and hope they would consider playing a smaller venue if they do decide to return
Photos © Matt Szymkow