Published by JB on June 10, 2015.
Review: Imagine Dragons – Metric – Halsey at the Xcel Energy Center – St. Paul, MN – June 9, 2015
“I Want it all, I want it all, I want it all” from ‘The Shade’ – Metric, 2015
With a triple-threat act that had enough musical symmetry between them to appeal unanimously to the crowd, Tuesday night at the Xcel Energy Center was a 4-hour light-show orgy filled with over the top anthems and some brilliant electro indie-pop. With each act (Halsey to Metric to Imagine Dragons) building up bigger than the previous one, the Imagine Dragons had the most stage to work with (literally). Imagine Dragons were given the longer set, the permission to walk the entire catwalk stage out into the crowd, and the better light-show. Now yes, this is standard practice for all shows, but Metric reminded us why they headlined a crowd of this same size in 2013 just miles away at Rock the Garden. To put the handcuffs on Emily Haines yet open the doors wide open for Imagine Dragons is a questionable call but that goes without admitting that 11,000 of the 12,000 in attendance were here for the headliner.
Halsey provided a long-awaited, stylistic, yet brief 25 minute Lorde-style set that started off with a 10 minute technical delay and then ended abruptly – about 5 songs deep. Attractive, young and energetic, Halsey played perfectly into the hands of the younger mostly-millennial crowd. After standing in line for hours (and hours) those at the front row would have found mild excitement over a visual of an iPod Classic or a bottle of water. The long wait was over and Halsey was the beneficiary.
Metric (which melt into the elder and wiser indie status) still pulsate with the best. They mixed in tracks from their last two fine albums (Fantasies, Synthetica) along with fantastic new material (‘Cascades’, ‘The Shade’) from the forthcoming Pagans in Vegas. Dripping with lush synth rhythms and even a two-minute guitar solo, Metric and Emily Haines were at their typical, dynamic best. Haines even took the time between songs (recognizing her status on stage with the younger millennials surrounding her) to preach a little about her love of music and being together in one place to listen to it. Little did most of the crowd know it at the time but the most talented person onstage the entire night was indeed Ms. Haines. To not be allowed to walk out on the catwalk section of the stage is a travesty. Whoever made that decision should be forced to watch the new San Andreas movie. Twice. Alone.