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Metric Showcase ‘Synthetica’ With Sold-Out Denver Concert – Live Review

Metric
Shauna Farnell for Diffuser.fm

It’s no wonder that Emily Haines has such great legs. Clad in tight leather shorts, Metric’s frontwoman must have put in about 27 miles of jogging in place at the Canadian quartet’s sold-out gig at Denver’s Ogden Theater on Thursday (Oct. 4). 

Still touring through mid-November (with a couple added mid-December dates) to support their fifth studio album, ‘Synthetica,’ which arrived over summer, the band brings nightly energy that never dies. There is nothing remotely synthetic about it. As Haines explained after returning for a long-lasting encore following a thunderous rendition of ‘Stadium Love,’ the new record, contrary to its name, is actually about “how to be as human as possible.”

Haines pointed out to the crowd what a wreck she looked when she glanced in the backstage mirror before coming back for the encore, saying that her makeup was everywhere, and that she looked “beaten up.” Perhaps, but it’s worth it just to blast through the superficial expectations and plastic personas that make up such a large portion of the entertainment industry and really connect with the live songs and the audience.

The group opened with the first three tracks of ‘Synthetica’ — ‘Artificial Nocturne,’ ‘Youth Without Youth’ and ‘Speed the Collapse’ — and even while slamming her keyboard with one hand and holding the mic with the other, Haines managed to kick up her knees incessantly. It wasn’t until the band launched into an extended version of ‘Empty’ that she took her running routine back and forth across the stage and threw in some theatrical tambourine moves for ‘Help, I’m Alive.’

James Shaw delivered the twangy riffs in ‘Sick Muse’ like he was hell-bent on breaking strings, and the entire audience was pogo-ing with hands in the air for ‘Dead Disco.’ Although Haines wails throughout a Metric live show, her voice somehow remains sweet, while the synthetizer-laced echos are haunting.

Everyone in the place appeared to know every lyric, save the glaze-eyed woman who, wearing a formal dress and shoving her way through the crowd, inexplicably climbed onto the rails at the side of the stage and pole-danced with one of the pillars supporting the balcony until security insisted she get down.

Haines and Shaw paired for the heartfelt, acoustic ballad ‘Gimme Sympathy’ to wrap things up, and all four band members stood at the front of the stage, hand-slapping fans in the front rows and waving in appreciation.

Effort expended: 150 percent. Guitar strings broken: miraculously none. Haines’ running-in-place miles tally: honestly … probably 27.

Metric: Denver 10/4/2012 Concert Pictures

 

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