Metric Sound Phenomenal on First Night at Brooklyn Steel

Metric Sound Phenomenal on First Night at Brooklyn Steel

October 27, 2022

Metric – Brooklyn Steel – October 26, 2022

Any indie rocker worth her salt knows that voice. The pitched-up, breathy one that drives Broken Social Scene’s big hit “Anthems for a Seventeen Year-Old Girl.” Emily Haines is a poster child of sorts for perhaps the most fruitful moment in indie rock, but her star shines most brightly as the face of Metric, the Toronto four-piece that gave the early aughts some of its signature sounds. 

I’m sure many on Wednesday night at Brooklyn Steel would’ve welcomed the band’s live return in any form, but what an absolute blast to see them like this. They played a phenomenal-sounding set, tightly produced and aided by some excellent light work. The cheeky silliness and sloppiness that pervades so much new rock — which, don’t @ me, I love too — was nowhere to be found. This was a band that made their name on eager, earnest, pulsing rock numbers like “Help I’m Alive” (Fantasies, 2009). And Haines still has it down. Whether she was bopping around — in high tops, a sparkly dress and matching sparkly hoodie — or playing guitar or synth or commanding center stage, that breathy, melodic, mezzo voice hit. She sounded as good as ever on wonderfully young-spirited tunes like “Gold Guns Girls” (“Is it ever gonna be enough?”) and newer, more assured and more dancy stuff like “Doomscroller,” the single from this year’s Formentera (and from which their current tour gets its name).

Partway through, lead guitarist and powerhouse James Shaw accompanied Haines on acoustic guitar as they played a beautifully special and stripped-down version of “Combat Baby” (Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?, 2003), a normally pleading, hairbrush mic-style stereo-blaster. And it can’t go unsaid that the band excels in so many ways thanks to drummer Joules Scott-Key, whose handle on crashing cymbals, building bass and pure rhythm is unparalleled. I was ready to drive off into the night, head-banging to notably Yeah Yeah Yeahs–sounding “Synthetica.” Metric were a perfect and transportive ride, right back to indie alt rock’s lively and joyful center. —Rachel Brody | @RachelCBrody

(Metric play Brooklyn Steel again tonight.)

Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro |

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