Concerts Concerts Metric With Stars at The ACC

Metric With Stars at The ACC

Metric at Air Canada Centre
Metric
Stars
The Air Canada Centre in Toronto, ON
November 24, 2012

Review by: Laura Eley
Photos by: Allison Janzen

The all-Canadian line-up fills one of Canada's largest venues.

Metric

Humans like you and me crave authenticity. And, whether its by way of food or apparel or music, we seek out other humans baring all (figuratively and literally) for our eager judgments with hopes to satisfy those cravings. And so, with judging eyes ablaze, I set out last Saturday night to take in Metric and Stars at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.

First, let me say this: As a fellow Canuck, I found myself beaming like a proud grandmother at her grandchild’s birth, simply because of the venue. The ACC? Mick Jagger, The Spice Girls, and Madonna have all danced across that covered rink, and it was really special to see Canadians headlining, opening, and filling that massive space.

Metric rolled in at a quarter past nine and dove straight into their latest album, Synthetica. Opening with the ascending “Artificial Nocturne”, their relaxed uniformity, likely due to their fourteen years together. became immediately apparent. Moving in rehearsed unison beneath the blue, geometric stage lights that resembled a giant game of Pac-Man, it became more and more clear that this group has “arrived”. Yes, they’ve played big shows before, and yes they’ve been nominated for some pretty prestigious awards. But until you can take such a huge stage and own it with your music and performance, you’re not ready for an arena.

Lead singer Emily Haines sparkled as the pseudo Pac-Man, and offered up Richard Simmons-worthy dance moves as she bounced around guitarist James Shaw and bassist Joshua Winstead. Sailing right along, the band crisply recreated hits “Youth Without Youth”, “Speed the Collapse”, and “Help, I’m Alive”. They pumped an electric energy that filled the space around Haines’ beautifully distinct voice - a voice which, by the way, sounds amazing live. As the crowd stood from their seats and shouted out lyrics, camaraderie spread and could only have benefitted from more stage interaction. But with a well-earned following, many of whom were undoubtedly repeat attendees, Metric knew exactly what they were stepping into, and how to play it.

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Stars

Opening for Metric was the equally-loved Stars who, though they live in Montreal, are all Toronto natives. Calm, cool, and collected, they make the sort of mellow, art-making music you can listen to forever. The band itself is comprised of five members that shrunk the stage into a living-room sized party, but whose passion and energy was so powerful that it became an extension of the crowd. Humble and lucid, this group and their fans will still be around when they’re rocking dentures.

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