Concert review: Metric at the Pageant, St. Louis, MO – October 2, 2012
Published October 3, 2012 by Jeff Becker
The dichotomy that exists within Emily Haines is the show inside the show as she delivers it via the intensity of the Metric vehicle. And a fabulous vehicle it is for the increasingly exciting and introspective Haines. With biting personal lyrics (does anyone disagree with her that she’s “just as fucked up as they say“?) mixed with amped-up bruising pop, Haines lives every girl’s dream on the outside while trying to peal away demons on the inside. An old-school cliche of the classic rock star she is – but this one is real, and it’s happening, and it’s riveting. She’s a Freudian masterpiece in high heals and a microphone. Scintillating onstage to the last drop – jogging through an 80 minute set that says good morning, good afternoon and good night in one tight package.
She’s a tremendous stage presence with an unwavering voice filling in the gaps at all the right spots. She’s brilliantly pulling off what so many others are trying to. She’s the leading lady right now in this exclusive portion of the pop world that actually matters. In the past 12 months we’ve seen some of the best of the best: Shirley Manson of Garbage, Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast and Alexis Krauss of the Sleigh Bells. Excluding Cosentino’s great voice and catchy songwriting, Emily Haines is crushing the competition. She’s driving a new Corvette and the other girls, as great as they are, are pushing a Ford Focus. Haines is the standard at which other leading ladies should be measured.
The past years have seen a black and white mix of Haines’ compositions – in both extremes, acoustic and Metric-ed. They are a tangible bipolar snapshot of the often-found beauty of Haines’ best work. These acoustic and full pop versions are easily interchangeable on CD but in the live show they receive the fully produced sound – save for the evening’s finale; the acoustic let’s-sit-on-the-couch-and-rest rendition of ‘Gimme Sympathy’. Haines spoke to the St. Louis crowd on this night, telling us about how at home she feels alone but then goes on the road in front of a random crowd and feels like for those two hours she has all these friends. With so many of our past idols leaving this earth at an early age (Amy Winehouse) it almost makes the audience and myself cringe to imagine anything remotely similar with the delightful Haines. The music in this world is so much better with her in it.
P.S. A large thank you goes to the last minute tactical gymnastics by Metric’s publicity team, especially Sarah for helping us make this review and photography happen. Without her, you wouldn’t be seeing this. Thank you Sarah, and Metric.