The Ogden Theater, filled with smoke and a surprisingly older crowd, hosted Toronto’s Metric on Thursday for a sold-out show.
The audience was packed wall-to-wall, forcing security to constantly herd the crowd out of walkways. Hip-looking twenty-somethings mingled with a unexpected amount of older adults, whose ages ranged anywhere from 40 to 50 years-old. But, the age difference didn’t matter as Metric took the stage.
Metric kicked off the night with “Artificial Nocturne,” the opener from its 2012 album, “Synthetica.” Frontwoman Emily Haines bounced about her keyboards, switching from foot to foot with ease on every beat. The band swiftly transitioned into its second song, “Youth Without Youth,” the second song off “Synthetica,” then into the album’s third song, “Speed the Collapse.” When she wasn’t playing the keyboards, Haines walked about the stage as she sang, interacting with guitarist James Shaw and bassist Joshua Winstead.
After this first high-energy set, the mood died down a bit as the band played the slower-tempoed “Dreams So Real.” The vibe wouldn’t remain subdued for long, though. “Help I’m Alive” was Metric’s first song off an older album – “Fantasies,” in this case – and was the first sing-along song of the night. The crowd was more amped than they had been for the previously played new tracks.
The energy continued to rise through “Synthetica,” “Clone” and “Breathing Underwater,” thanks to the light show reaching its peak, shooting lasers to the back of the theater while lighted squares flashed on and off behind the band. “Clone” showcased Haines’ vocals better than any other song in the set. Although the vocals on “Breathing Underwater” were lighter live than on the record, the song allowed Haines to show off her skills.
Metric ended its set with “Sick Muse” and “Dead Disco,” off “Fantasies” and “Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?,” respectively. Although these songs were crowd favorites, the audience wasn’t satisfied with this ending. They cheered for several minutes, never letting up until the band came back on stage for its encore.
Although Metric’s first set lacked older songs, the encore provided the fix that longtime fans were looking for. Single “Monster Hospital” (2006) started off the mini-set, followed by “Gold Guns Girls.” “Gold Guns Girls” was the only song throughout the night that Haines picked up a guitar for.
After these two songs, Haines said a simple, “Thank you.” The crowd erupted into cheers louder than any point in the night. She took a break to tell the audience about an interview she had before the show. The question: what is the album “Synthetica” about? At the time, she didn’t know how to answer. But while getting ready for the encore, she had a realization.
“It’s just about being a human being,” Haines said. “I just wanted to share the epiphany I had while sharing this beautiful evening with you guys.”
After more cheers from the crowd, the band was ready to finish the night with “a lullaby:” a haunting acoustic version of “Gimme Sympathy.” This introduced a theater-wide sing along, with the audience holding each other and swaying to the music. It was an engaging and touching way to end the night.
Contact CU Independent Entertainment Editor Avalon Jacka at Avalon.firstname.lastname@example.org.