Toronto’s favorite NYC transplant band Metric returned to their second home for a pair of sold out shows at Brooklyn Steel, and I was lucky enough to catch their moving performance at the first show of the grand finale to the US dates of their Doomscroller Tour. Their new album Formentera is one of my favorite albums of 2022 so far, and for a band with an already impressive selection of perfect albums, this group was definitely ready to take back the spotlight and rock out an awesome show. Front woman Emily Haines was on fire throughout the set, as she was bursting with energy for every single song, even the belting out some serious howls during the relatively mellow acoustic section in the middle of the show. I first heard her amazing voice when she was guesting in on the fellow Canadian via NYC band called Stars, but by the late 90’s she was sharing a loft with future members of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and TV on the Radio in the then “no man’s land” of Williamsburg, and it was then the band was truly born. I remember them playing many a small venue in the early 00’s, but even back then I could tell that their epic sound was definitely destined for stadium grandiosity. Over two decades and eight albums later and they’re still delivering that overwhelming feeling of barely being contained by the stage they’re performing on.
The band Secret Machines opened the show and were another band from the early 2000’s that also transplanted to NYC, although they were originally from Dallas, and I also saw them play at many small shows around town back in the day. They were known for a fully loud and proud progressive rock sound that felt like something between early 70’s Pink Floyd and later 70’s Led Zeppelin, all played with a slight Texas drawl. This trio originally consisted of the brothers Brandon and Benjamin Curtis, both of whom had been in the 90’s psychedelic pop band Tripping Daisy, along with drummer Josh Garza. Ben went on to form the more electro-pop sounding band called School of Seven Bells around 2007, who I was also a big fan of, but then he died of lymphoma back in 2013, which was a great loss to everyone who every knew his magical spark. Still, the band had continued in one form or another, ultimately with another Tripping Daisy alum in the form of guitarist Phil Karnats taking the axe spot, and together they came ready to rock loud on this night. Drummer Josh Garza was particularly mesmerizing to witness as he completely destroyed the drum kit. They started their set with a classic jam “First Wave Intact” from 2004’s Now Here Is Nowhere, and the whole set seemed to be classics from their older catalogue like the epic closers of “Lightning Blue Eyes” and “Nowhere Again” with sadly no new stuff that I heard. Still, I’m happy to see these proggers back in action, and I look forward to getting blasted away by them again very soon.
Metric came out to an entirely dark set and cranked out the ambitious 10-minute-long opener to their new album called “Doomscroller” with a dark industrial taste and an art rock chic. Emily stopped hiding in the shadows and took off the glittering hood and strapped on a guitar for their second song with the classic “Gold Guns Girls,” and they spent much of the set switching between new songs like the massive awesome catchiness of “All Comes Crashing” and masterpieces like “Gimme Sympathy“ and “Black Sheep.” Haines was dressing in a glittery mirrored hoodie and short skirt that reflected all the light during their show which made her persona somehow burn even brighter than usual, and her ridiculously toned legs bounced her around the stage like an unhinged Tiger, as her voice carried like a divine calling and often sounding like a soul possessed. The whole band kept the volume high and put the petal to the metal throughout their full set, and even shimmered with adrenaline during a brief acoustic set in the middle of the show with just Emily and guitarist Jimmy Shaw as they played “Calculation Theme” and “Combat Baby” acoustic. Bassist Joshua Winstead and drummer Joules Scott-Key were both on fire throughout and kept the tempo high. This was an amazing show, and it was great to see this band come back with such a dominant victory like this show.
Article/Images: Dean Keim