Concert review: Metric, The Powerstation

By Rachel Bache

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Canadian band Metric, lead by Emily Haines, at the Powerstation. Photo / Michelle Deacon (Outstretched Photography)
Canadian band Metric, lead by Emily Haines, at the Powerstation. Photo / Michelle Deacon (Outstretched Photography)

I feel inspired to pick up a guitar, bleach my hair blonde and form an indie rock group after witnessing effortlessly cool front woman Emily Haines own the Powerstation on Saturday night.

Indie synth-pop band Metric visited Auckland last night for a one off show to tour their fifth studio album Synthetica.

Forming 15 years ago in Toronto, the band has been at the forefront of the synthesiser revival, paving the way for other synth-heavy acts like Crystal Castles and the Yeah Yeah Yeah's.

The Canadian group possess a slew of memorable pop-esque tracks, pumped with just the right amount of punk spirit. They delighted Kiwi fans with their echoing synth licks, haunting vocals and thumping bass notes.

Metric's front woman, Emily Haines, at the Powerstation in Auckland. Photo / Michelle Deacon (Outstretched Photography)
Metric's front woman, Emily Haines, at the Powerstation in Auckland. Photo / Michelle Deacon (Outstretched Photography)

Haines hopped her way across the stage, singing out striking songs Youth Without Youth and Speed The Collapse as the crowd roared along word for word. The rolling drum line drove the fiery music forward and set the tone for the rest of the night.

Metric made the most of the synthesisers that furnished the stage, layering dreamy synth effects and loops beautifully through Dream So Real and Artificial Nocturne. The band then made quick disjointed transitions to rockier, guitar heavy tracks like Sick Muse, keeping the packed out house hungry for more.

Help I'm Alive was definitely a crowd favourite. Emily Haines, took control of the whole room, raising her tambourine dramatically into the air as the bridge built up and broke into a wild free-for-all through the chorus of the song. The audience went nuts for her.

Read more: Chris Schulz interviews Metric front woman Emily Haines.

The high energy night rushed passed quickly, only slowing down for a handful of raw acoustic renditions, featuring just Haines and guitarist James Shaw. Later, Shaw beamed as he waved the crowd into a booming acappella close of Breathing Underwater.

Synth-pop band, Metric, playing the Powerstation in Auckland. Photo / Michelle Deacon (Outstretched Photography)
Synth-pop band, Metric, playing the Powerstation in Auckland. Photo / Michelle Deacon (Outstretched Photography)

Metric finished with a massive six-song encore, bursting back onto the stage with fantastically aggressive Black Sheep, which featured in the 2010 film Scott Pilgram vs The World. The room went off during Gold Guns Girls, with punters jumping and dancing throughout the potently catchy number.

Emily Haines ended the night speaking briefly of the late Lou Reed, calling him a personal role model, before leaving with "a lullaby" of Willy Nelson's Always On My Mind, which melted into a passionate, stripped back, version of Gimmie Sympathy.

The whole room sang out every word back to the four Metric members as they stood centre stage, taking their final bow.

Who: Metric
Where: The Powerstation, Auckland
When: Saturday, December 14

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