Live Review: METRIC @ The Tivoli, Brisbane – December 11, 2013

Review by Lauren Sherritt for Life Music Media

With sustained global popularity for over a decade, Metric have a wide fan-base to pull from when it comes to filling a show’s audience. Their loyal Brisbane following heard the call for the Wednesday night leg of Metric’s “Synthetica” tour, and a diverse crowd filled The Tivoli on one of those muggy Brisbane nights where even inside the busy venue it was cooler than sweating in the soupy air outside. The warm weather didn’t seem to affect the Canadian quartet, though, as they hit the stage in their trademark cool style.

A little bit of maturity goes a long way when it comes to live performance, and Metric have their act down pat. Without relying on any fancy stage setup or design, it was all about the music at this show and they certainly provided the goods. Acting the consummate rock stars with a collective cool and calm demeanour, Metric’s new wave sound was the perfect antidote to the hot evening. As the band warmed up gradually throughout the show they discovered an audience filled with endless energy at their feet ready to up the ante with them.

While each of the four delivered spot-on musical performances, all eyes were on vocalist Emily Haines as she energetically bounced and strutted across the stage, her unique voice filling the venue and wowing the crowd. Haines led the band through a series of pitch-perfect hits from their five albums, and it seemed that there were almost too many good songs to choose from. From the most recent album Synthetica, came upbeat, lively rock numbers “Breathing Underwater” and “Youth Without Youth”, which got the crowd moving and signing along. It was old favourites “Sick Muse” and “Help I’m Alive” which had the entire crowd rapturous, though, and it seemed that each new song played was the new crowd favourite.

Haines is well known for speaking out about political and social issues during shows, and her musings over New York’s recent and controversial “stop and frisk” laws during the encore provided a new context for one of the band’s more gentle songs “The Police and The Private”. Engaging and emotive, this provided one of the more intimate moments of the show and thrilled the Brisbane crowd, a hush falling over the swaying hundreds. Continuing with the gentler theme, Metric closed their set with a lullaby-esque, acoustic rendition of “Gimme Sympathy”, the bittersweet song hitting the perfect note to end the evening memorably. /

Review by Lauren Sherritt