Reflections on Metric’s first Las Vegas visit

The Emily Haines-fronted indie band rocked the House of Blues on October 6.

Metric’s Emily Haines
Photo: Red Features

1. This band has put on some serious rock ’n’ roll muscle since the catchy power-pop of its 2003 debut. Metric keeps the show short, sticking to mostly meaty, up-tempo songs from latest album Synthetica and 2009’s Fantasies. The sound is clean and full, performed with the technical quality of the recordings, augmented by a pummeling bass and guitar-shredding flair.

2. Emily Haines remains a compelling frontwoman, alternating between head-banging over her keyboard, stomping in time with a tambourine and teasing the crowd as she yelps and purrs into the mic.

3. The stage setup, which looks borrowed from Tron: Legacy-era Daft Punk, is the perfect complement to the sleek and sexy electro undertones that pervade Synthetica. When it’s time for the encore, the backdrop transforms into a giant digital clock counting down the two minutes until the band returns to the stage.

4. During a break between songs, a fan gives Haines what appears to be a handmade book: “It’s nice to get a book,” she says. “In all the other cities, people throw bras and underwear and beer onstage, but Vegas gives us a book! Go figure.”

5. When Metric closes with an acoustic rendition of synth-heavy hit “Gimme Sympathy,” it could be cheesy and self-indulgent—especially when the band encourages the crowd to sing along. Instead, as their voices grow loud enough to overcome Haines’, it feels like a moment of sincere mutual appreciation between artist and fans.

6. The only downside to the evening: The floor was so tightly packed that dancing proved impossible, a cruel fate for Metric fans. The rest of the crowd vied for space between the three main level bars.

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