Webster Hall became an infinite abyss of heads Friday night following the breathy and enlivening Islands. Metric, one of Toronto’s sexiest bands, took the stage shortly after 10pm. Frontwoman Emily Haines dressed in a white, short-sleeved top, matching skort piece and silver sparkle heels, and opened with “Wet Blanket” while standing on her toes with a confident shoulder-swagger. The night was filled with lungeful crouches and rampant lighting, as well as the kind of ironic dance rock to depict livelier moments from Live It Up and Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?
The band unleashed an unrelenting siren that whipped during “Handshake.” As she stood behind the adjacent keys, Haines head-banged with a to-and-fro fervor to penetrate in sync with the intensely pulsating flickers. While on the loftier “Hustle Rose,” Haines stood on the edge of the stage, mimicking flight attendant demonstration and chanting “Behold the fishnet slut tonight Hustle Rose goes from limb to limb,” as her arms unfolded out-stretched. Finger tip-to-lip, she continued with, “Fingertip to painted lip she sways her way up to him.” Word for word the crowd met Haines on “Now that your wallet is all lit up,” repeating with her line per line.
Metric also performed “Police And The Private” and “Monster Hospital,” among many others. As she introduced the next song, Haines spotlighted guitarist Jimmy Shaw’s back-flip he apparently landed during their performance in DC. Shaw seems slightly reluctant. Haines asks light-heartedly, “Are you mad?” The crowd began chanting “back-flip!” Peer pressure was on. Shaw sauntered the stage as if he may give in. Psyche! Not happening. “Combat Baby” emerged to unite all in the infectious hooks that reminiscently captured from the beginning (“Combat baby come back baby / fight off the lethargy / don’t go quietly / combat baby / said you would never give up easy / combat baby come back”) with Haines streaming a front row of fives.
As hot-mannered as they are quiet, Metric blaze with the fickle tendencies of the insatiable. The cynicism blended well with the band’s fashionable mod stance, delivering a bout of optimistic pessimism that relished sweetly in its brusque reality throughout the elongated encore. Metric’s seductive affront appropriately supported the band’s lyricism and illustrated an expressionistic quality that can only be experienced live.