In concert, Metric often resorts to using confetti machines, dry ice, and wind machines. Detractors immediately bemoan these contraptions as clichés. If you actually attend a Metric concert then you know there’s nothing cliché about the Toronto-based, synthpop band.
For one, Metric has so much fun performing they don’t care if every band uses a wind machine or if they’re the only ones harnessing its power (by the way, I’ve been to hundreds of concerts and never seen a wind machine). Metric just embraces the moment, connects with the audience, and performs with lots of energy and love.
Secondly, lead singer Emily Haines has so much stage presence, and is so charismatic, that she can pull off just about anything. She also sounds great live. Her vocals hold up without the processing power of the recording studio.
What Instruments Does Metric Play In Concert?
Haines sings and plays synthesizer. She tickles the digital ivories of a Sequential Circuits Pro-One and a Nord Wave. She also rocks the tambourine—when it comes to tambourine playing she’s right up there with Davy Jones and Susan Dey.
James Shaw plays acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and everyone’s favorite instrument, the theremin. Occasionally, Metric will go acoustic. When they do, it’s just Shaw and Haines.
Joshua Winstead plays bass and sometimes the synth. He also sings backup. The band’s drummer is Joules Scott-Key. Haines and Shaw have been in Metric since the beginning. Winstead and Scott-Key both joined in 2001.
Does Metric Play Mostly Old Or New Songs In Concert?
Metric formed in 1998 and released their first album, Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?, in 2003. At the end of 2015, their discography contained six studio albums, eight EPs, and appearances on three soundtracks.
In other words, they’ve been around for a while and have lots of songs they can play in concert. So, if you’re attending a Metric tour stop you’ve got to ask what’s going to be on their setlist?
For the most part, Metric leans towards newer material. They are not afraid to play a bunch of tracks from their latest release even at the expense of their “classic” material.
If you have Metric tickets you can expect them to play your favorite song off their recent album but don’t expect them to play your favorite song from their early works.
Metric’s most popular songs are "Help, I'm Alive,” "Gimme Sympathy," "Gold Guns Girls," "Youth Without Youth," and "Breathing Underwater."