Before their big-ass concert with Imagine Dragons and Halsey at the Scotiabank Saddledome on June 5, Metric’s vocalist/keyboardist Emily Haines and lead guitarist Jimmy Shaw played an acoustic, intimate five-song set for a select lucky few Calgarians.
Fans were even introduced to a new Metric song that was still in the works.
Full disclosure: In addition to being the editor-in-chief of The Calgary Journal, this reporter is also a member of the Street Team at X92.9, and a big fan of Metric.
Those who won tickets through X92.9 Calgary’s Alternative were told June 5 to go to the Big Secret Theatre at the Jack Singer Concert Hall for a 2:30 p.m. show. The room holds around 100 people and it was not full, allowing those in the know to have some dialogue with Haines and Shaw during the performance. Radio personality Lynch also interviewed the duo.
Besides the audience getting a chance to see this successful Canadian rock band up close and personal, Haines also said they were going to play a song the band finished writing just that day.
Lynch said he wanted to talk about a couple of tracks on the new record Pagans in Vegas, mentioning “Celebrate.”
After some laughs from Haines and the audience, Haines explained: “It’s our first time hearing other people say the titles of our [Pagans in Vegas] songs.”
With Haines on the piano and Shaw on the guitar, they played “Breathing Under Water” and “Synthetica” before sharing details about the new album and the songs to come.
They played “Pagans in Vegas”, as well as the band’s newest single “The Shade” before they finished with a cover of “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards,” one of their favourite songs by Tame Impala, one of their favourite bands.
Lynch explained his thoughts on the new album during an interview with Haines and Shaw, and how it leads the listener on a path through different musical genres from “The Shade” to everything else, including “Cascade,” which Metric describes as the “heartbeat of the album,” that was recently released on YouTube. Rolling Stone describes the new song as a “melange of glitchy, elastic and whirring synthesizers that swirl around frontwoman Emily Haines’ vocals, which have been properly digitized, but not so much that the effect obscures a crucial underlying humanness.”
Metric took a year off of touring, and Haines admits that though her bandmates said they were going to split and do whatever they wanted, after a few months she came back from Nicaragua and Spain with her guitar and around 15 songs. Upon returning, she learned Shaw had done the same thing, holed up in a studio with his instruments.
Shaw said they tried to be bold and not shy away from anything, even if it may be different from what is expected. And though they haven’t been on tour for a year, on stage is where they feel the least nervous.
“It’s the other 23 hours of the day that I’m scared,” Shaw said, “Because I have no idea where to go or what to do.”
That got a laugh from the crowd at the Big Secret Theatre.
Metric performed between Halsey and Imagine Dragons at the Saddledome that evening, belting out new material in addition to songs from their previous albums.
Haines pranced around the stage singing, playing the keyboard, donning a giant, billowing shimmery purple cape while serenading the crowd. Who could have been disappointed?
But for those die-hard fans who love Metric hits like “Succexy,” “Grow Up and Blow Away,” and other classics, do not fret.
Metric loves to tour and are they are no strangers to Calgary.