Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw perform “The Shade” acoustically for the Verge Music Lab at the Music Mansion: SiriusXM Canada on June 2, 2015.
Drummer Joules Scott-Key pounded out those familiar opening notes and vocalist Emily Haines bounded onto stage to open the set with “Stadium Love.”
And so Metric kicked off their performance at the Verizon Center Monday night, opening for Imagine Dragons in that band’s Smoke + Mirrors Tour, devoting a third of their set to their popular fourth album Fantasies.
After “Stadium Love” was appropriately performed for the enthusiastic stadium attendees, Metric introduced new track “Too Bad, So Sad,” a kinetic lament of being stuck in a bad place belied by its cheering chorus. It rings a bit of a traditional Metric song blended with Blur’s “Song 2.”
“Too Bad, So Sad” was the first of three new songs from the forthcoming album Pagans in Vegas, scheduled for release Sept. 18. Those new songs were undoubtedly the highlight of the show for longtime admirers of the Canadian quartet.
The biggest number for Metric in the concert was “Cascades,” which the Toronto new wavers have described as the heart of the upcoming album. “Cascades” is a wholly electronic affair with synths coating Emily’s sweet but sassy vocals to powerful effect — and it’s so deliriously good that it was an instant new favorite for me and also for the thousands gathered early to see them Monday.
The song, about “cascading waves of emotion,” is a welcome tidal wave that involves Emily, guitarist Jimmy Shaw and bassist Joshua Winstead trading off on three synthesizers. There are guitar and bass parts as well, and when Emily isn’t behind her synthesizer, she’s at the front of the stage in a purple cape billowing above a wind machine.
The arrangement, although simple, is extraordinarily memorable.
Give “Cascades” a listen on Soundcloud:
Note: DC9 closed early last night due to a water main break, forcing cancellation of this show! Operators have been rescheduled for Monday, Feb. 16
DC9 (1940 9th St. NW, DC) hosts a pretty exciting electronic line-up — now on Monday, Feb. 16!
The main act Operators is the latest band from Canada’s Dan Boeckner, who formerly supplied guitar and vocals to Montreal quartet Wolf Parade. Operators puts a big emphasis on dance music and the band released its first offering EP1 last year.
For Operators, Boeckner has partnered with keyboardist Devojka, hailing from Macedonia, and drummer Sam Brown (the latter of whom he also worked with in Divine Fits). Their EP1 supplies us with five tracks, including the likes of “True,” a very new wave track with funky vocals and pleasantly pulsating electro.
Opening for Operators is DC’s own Pleasure Curses in their first show of 2015. Pleasure Curses, hailing from the very electronic label Prince George Records, recently released the track “Burn,” a slinky single that shows off their increasingly polished, and dare we say seductive, sound.
The duo of Jahn Alexander and Evan Maxwell say they have big things planned this year, but catch up on their catalogue to date below:
Tickets are available online and at the door.
Monday, Jan. 12
Frenchman David Grellier’s electronica project College leapt into full view of U.S. audiences in 2011 when its song “A Real Hero” was used on the soundtrack of the Ryan Gosling film Drive, which smartly and sleekly weaved smooth italo disco sounds into a pulsing yet atmospheric mix that served the elevate the mood and action of the movie.
Grellier has his hands in a number of projects, but College recently released a new EP and an accompanying video for “Save the Day.” The collective is touring with a first stop among some 14 dates at DC9 (1940 9th St. NW, DC) on Wednesday, Nov. 26.
I’m not 100 percent certain if Grellier is touring by himself or if he’s bringing an accompanying vocalist, but he is accompanied by opening act Furniteur, D.C. visual artist and electronic musician Brittany Sims. Furniteur is wonderful accompaniment to College’s sound–synthy, lush, melancholy classic pop. And Sims is a local, so we are super-excited to check out this lineup.
Tickets are available online or at the door.
Wednesday, Nov. 26