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As the lights came up at last night’s Metric set at the 9:30 Club, all eyes were on frontwoman Emily Haines—and her sparkling, light-reflecting top. The focus quickly shifted to music, though, as Haines (along with bassist Josh Winstead, guitarist James Shaw, and drummer Joules Scott-Key) kicked things off with “Twilight Galaxy,” from Metric’s latest album, Fantasies. The song started slow and built to a dance-y crescendo, which was a nice lead-in for “Help I’m Alive,” one of the best tracks on the new disc.
During “Gold Guns Girls,” Haines picked up a guitar, proving that the multi-instrumentalism seen in the “Gimme Sympathy” video wasn’t as staged as one might think. Haines actually proved quite the multi-tasker, switching from guitar to keys seamlessly throughout the show. But when she stepped away and traveled the stage with a cordless mic, her voice became noticeably more fragile and raw—chalk it up to her dancing and twisting across the stage.
At one point, Haines declared: “For us it was such a big moment when we got to play 9:30 Club…there are showers backstage!” For Washington, D.C. it was a big moment as well—the sold out crowd often sang along (hear it on the NPR stream of the show). This was especially prevalent on popular songs from previous albums, such as “Hand$hakes” and “Empty” from 2005’s Live It Out and “Dead Disco,” from 2003’s Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?
“Dead Disco” also succeeded in getting the majority of the crowd to loosen up and move along with the music. Toward the end of the set, Haines told the crowd, “We’ll find enough love to fill the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC…stadium love!” then launched into a raucous version of Fantasies‘ “Stadium Love,” which was a perfect way to urge the crowd to ask for more.
During the encore, Haines lowered herself into the crowd and gave an acoustic version of “Live It Out” (which she has dubbed Metric’s “Freebird”) Before the set ended, Haines said that “[m]usic just blows my mind. It’s just vibrations…but it’s just the most beautiful thing.”