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Spring Housing Guide

Metric performs with energy and passion

Too often, musicians with actual musical talent possess little or no stage presence, which makes for a dull concert experience. Or, artists who command a stage do so to overcompensate for limited musical abilities.

Thankfully, neither of these critiques can apply to Metric. During their show at Cleveland’s House of Blues on May 19, the band treated fans to a set featuring plenty of passion and talent.

The band, lead by Emily Haines, delivered engrossing performances throughout the evening. The band’s set focused primarily on tracks from their 2009 release, Fantasies, and Haines began the show with the haunting and pulsating “Twilight Galaxy,” playing the synthesizer as a compliment to her chilling vocals.

By the time the band performed “Help, I’m Alive,” you could feel Haines’ “heart beating like a hammer,” as the lyrics said. The lively song packed a punch in the venue. “If I stumble, they’re gonna eat me alive,” Haines sang. But during this show, there was no danger of that happening.

Haines developed a connection with the audience, and seems to understand the feeling a fan has during a fulfilling concert experience. Another song, “Front Row,” allowed Haines to make herself one with the crowd, by singing, “I’m in the front row, I’m a model.”

To close out the show, Metric performed one of their most well-known songs, “Combat Baby,” and turned it into a subdued crowd sing-a-long. Even though it was not as bombastic as the other performances, the band still delivered with power and fervor.

It would have been difficult for anyone to leave the concert feeling that Haines was anything less than a powerful and engrossing singer. Throughout the show, Haines pranced and danced onstage, keeping the audience in the palm of her hand and commanding class. It was impossible to look away from such a powerhouse performer.

Haines received a lot of help from her fellow band members as well, particularly guitarist Jimmy Shaw, who seemed to share the crowd’s enthusiasm for Haines’ performing skills. Drummer Joules Scott-Key and bassist Josh Winstead helped to make every song sound complete and powerful as it reached the audience.

With their new song, “Eclipse (All Yours)” appearing in “the Twilight Saga: Eclipse” later this month, Metric is likely to have a break-out year, which will include opening for Muse’s arena tour in October and November. This will present a fantastic opportunity for the band to have their music heard, but Metric seems to thrive upon having a close relationship with a crowd, and performing in such massive venues may limit that relationship.

Metric is a great live band, and this is likely true no matter the venue. However, a smaller venue such as the House of Blues likely best shows off Metric’s power and command of their audience.

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