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Metric live!

| December 23, 2009 | 0 Comments

Cubby Bear, Chicago
Thursday, December 17, 2009

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It was about 12:15 a.m. when Canadian alt-rockers Metric took the Cubby Bear stage as part of the “Q101 Twisted After-Show” — much to the surprise of a sold-out crowd that had been told 9 p.m.

But mesmerizing frontwoman Emily Haines soon made it forget as she drew the audience into her palm. She began the show with her wispy blonde hair blowing in the fan as she played the opening keyboard lines of “Twilight Galaxy.” The band wasted no time getting to the hits, by opening with the four best tracks off 2009’s surprise darling Fantasies (Last Gang) — the opener, “Satellite Mind,” “Gold Guns Girls,” and hit single “Help, I’m Alive,” which had the entire crowd belting out its simple refrain: “Beating like a hammer.”

Haines’ voice never did hit like a hammer, instead floating above the crowd with a subtle sweetness. But what her voice lacked in power it made up for in purity (an auto-tune free zone!). As she worked the stage and alternated between playing keys, strumming the guitar, and singing/bantering/dancing with the crowd, Haines proved why she has the charisma of an early Gwen Stefani melded with the attitude of Courtney Love — only a sweeter, girl-next-door version. Her dark lust-laced lyrics emerged through her vocals with an uncanny innocence and charm. After a 75-minute set, the band closed with the built-for-concert “Stadium Love,” followed by an encore that went old-school — a pleasant surprise to the crowd, most of whom sang along with every word of early hits “Monster Hospital” and “Combat Baby.” It was Metric’s final show of their tour, and as Haines pointed out, their final show of the decade. And she seemed genuinely pleased to be spending it in Chicago. Her mid-show declaration summed it up perfectly: “Chicago, you are my Christmas Eve . . . Should we do this?”

— Carter Moss

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Category: Live Reviews, Weekly

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