Concert review: Metric at the State Theater, Minneapolis, MN – September 11, 2012

“I’m just as fucked up as they say”


Setlist:  Artificial Nocturne,
Youth Without Youth,
Speed The Collapse,
Dreams So Real,
Lost Kitten,
Help, I’m Alive,
Breathing Underwater,
Sick Muse,
Dead Disco, Stadium Love,
Monster Hospital, Gold Guns Girls, Gimme Sympathy



If there’s a spaceship hovering over this planet with the intent of carrying with it the best power pop indie band in the world, they dropped off Garbage (the Shirley Manson Garbage that is, not alien trash) several years ago and scooped up the Emily Haines-led Metric team.   A logical transition it is.  To no fault of Garbage, which remain great but clearly on the serious back end of their illustrious career, Metric grabs the baton and is in full sprint.   Like a UFO herself, Haines hovers above Metric as the pulse, the heartbeat and the bloodflow of the most exciting indie power pop band in the world (I don’t put Arcade Fire, Franz Ferdinand into this category – but there is no better at what Metric does).   She’s become an explosive mix of Shirley Manson from 2001, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Katy Perry and Gwen Stefani all rolled into one power package with enough talent to simply give you a wink of her eye and blow her competition to smithereens each time she goes back to the drawing board for more greatness.

Bouncing around the stage at the State Theater with vibrance and ease (and looking like a lurking vixen to make things even more interesting), Haines and Metric deliver muscular pop (and some older punkish) gems as easily as we send text messages.   In a show setup very similar to their 2010 tour of  Fantasies, Haines opens the show again, with a hypnotic gem (‘Artificial Nocturne’) which feature her most stunning vocal deliveries on the new album Synthetica and this show.   In 2010 it was ‘Twilight Galaxy’ to warm up the audience.   Slipping nicely into its place, 2012’s ‘Nocturne’ is that slow building, wry little smile that comes across your face when you know something great is about to happen.  And happen it did.   Metric’s pop catalog hits you like a dart every 5 minutes.   From ‘Help, I’m Alive’ to ‘Empty’ it’s a potpourri of delicious pop that Madonna never had the talent to make, Lady Gaga was in the dressing room too busy to make and Garbage used to make.   Closing the show with (another ending culled from the prior tour) an acoustic rendition of “Gimme Sympathy” (in 2010 it was “Combat Baby”), Haines left the crowd in the palm of her hand, smiling while leaving the stage, teasing the crowd with a look on her face that said, “We could do this for three hours if we wanted to, but we don’t  have to”.   75 minutes of epic pop.   As Emily Haines becomes more fucked up, the greater she becomes.  Each album becomes more powerful, better and dynamic.   She’s the meteor, and we’re just the nerds with a telescope looking for her.   And I’m good with that.

— Published September 12, 2012 by Jeff Becker

See our review of Metric’s Synthetica album here

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