Best of the Year: Top 10 Concerts of 2019 by Mickey

Berlin_Anthem-18_DSC00015-Edit Mickey McCarter was *thrilled* to see the classic lineup of Berlin reunite. (Photo by Jason Nicholson)

Editor’s Note: This year, we asked our bloggers to name their Top 10 shows of 2019 or choose their Top 10 photos of the year. We will run them over the course of mid-December as our Best of the Year posts.

Many of our bloggers work as one-man bands. They travel to a show, shoot it, and write it up. But as Parklife DC editor, I frequently work in collaboration with others. And so I have the opportunity to travel to shows I might otherwise not see in support of bloggers who are there to shoot (usually) or write (occasionally) about the program.

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Live Review: Metric @ The Fillmore Silver Spring — 2/15/19

Metric42 Emily Haines fronts Metric at The Fillmore Silver Spring on Feb. 15, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

When Emily Haines of Metric sang at The Fillmore Silver Spring on Friday, she sang with her whole self — which is to say that physically she threw her body into song, but psychically she threw her mind into it as well.

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Preview: Metric @ The Fillmore Silver Spring, 2/15/19

Metric (Photo by Justin Broadbent)

Canadian quartet Metric released Art of Doubt, a wonderfully brilliant new wave album, last year, and soon they will tour it in the United States. Locally, Metric will perform at The Fillmore Silver Spring on Friday, Feb. 15 in a double bill with Latin rock band Zoe.

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Music Park: Emily Haines and The Soft Skeleton @ Sixth and I — 12/2/17

EmilyHainesDC01Emily Haines performs as Emily Haines and The Soft Skeleton at Sixth and I Historic Synagogue on Dec. 2. 2017.

Scene: Birds chirped, signifying the arrival of morning. Emily Haines stumbled into stage and put down a suitcase. She changed into a dressing gown and goes to sleep, only to be woken moments later by her alarm clock.

She began an internal monologue, which admonished her for not getting enough sleep. The monologue in her head continued for a spell as Emily got up to play some songs solo at a piano. She appeared to be struggling with some questions: Is this where she wants to be? Is there some place or time to which she would like to return? Or has she never truly moved forward?

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Don’t Miss: Thrival Innovation + Music Festival @ Carrie Furnaces, Pittsburgh, Pa., 5/23-24

Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches performs in Baltimore, Md., on June 12, 2016.

Much of Pittsburgh has been embracing a new economy that encompasses industries outside of its traditional steel-town past. Thrill Mill Inc., a nonprofit that provides local entrepreneurs with free resources to grow business, supports the growth of Pittsburgh companies in new frontiers.

To call attention to its mission and raise some money to fund these resources, Thrill Mill this week presents the Thrival Innovation + Music Festival. Starting on Tuesday, Thrival Innovation + Music Festival presents programming around the city to position Pittsburgh as the world leader in post-industrial economic development, and the festival caps the week with a two-day music festival. (Check out all of the programming online.)

Thrival executive producer Dan Law said in a statement, “Recently, Pittsburgh finds itself on a number of ‘top’ lists, but so much of our city remains undiscovered to a broader audience. The festival offers that unique opportunity to witness why Pittsburgh is a modern comeback story.”

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Music Park: Metric @ The Fillmore Silver Spring — 3/13/16

Emily Haines strikes one of many triumphant poses during the Metric show at The Fillmore Silver Spring on March 13, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Emily Haines steps onto the stage and the room lights up.

Well, it literally does light up with intense shades of red from an explosive light show that her band Metric have orchestrated at the Fillmore Silver Spring on Sunday night. But it also lights up in the way that you cannot help but smile and gasp when Emily bounds onto stage to take her place alongside her bandmates.

Ebullient and effervescent, Emily engaged the audience throughout the evening in a show worthy of the band’s consistently strong material. Metric performed for nearly two full hours for a stop in their “I Can See the End” Tour, a name lifted from a line in “Breathing Underwater” from their 2012 album,  Synthetica. The set list drew heavily from the last two albums (Synthetica and sixth album, Pagans in Vegas), but the band touched on all six of their records, kicking things off with “IOU” from their very first album, Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?

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Don’t Miss: Metric @ The Fillmore Silver Spring, 3/13/16

Metric (Photo by Norman Wong)

Last September, Metric released a fantastic new album — their sixth — Pagans in Vegas. It continues a journey Metric began with their first album, as the Toronto quartet have blazed a trail from catchy melodies and clever wordplay to sophisticated vignettes of complex musical arrangements.

While fourth album Fantasies had a big sound reflecting its themes of life among others and fifth album Synthetica turned inward to assess life within ourselves, the new album straddles the two, which is appropriate as the band said they drew inspiration from influences like Depeche Mode and Underworld. The resulting songs occasionally project out or turn inward, but the results always make for excellent songcraft.

Lead singer Emily Haines is in fine form, and the band seem to have grown in such a way that depends less on her sassy demeanor and more on operating as a collective. In the lead-up to the album release, I caught Metric at the Verizon Center opening for Imagine Dragons on July 6, 2015, and observed: “Metric were in terrific form all around, and Emily sounded superb and looked fantastic.”

Now Metric return for their own headlining tour at The Fillmore Silver Spring this Sunday, March 13, in what is certain to be a great show.

In some of their latest music videos, Metric have opted for swirling visual effects rather than film of the band performing. Watch the official music video for “The Governess,” a song that gets a bit bluesy, by Metric on YouTube:

Metric also recorded acoustic versions of four of their songs this year at 11th Street Records in Las Vegas for a Spotify Session. Listen on Spotify!

I have long pointed to Metric as the standard-bearers for intelligent new wave music since their formation in 1998, and The New York Times recently echoed my sentiment in a review of the new album. “Whether the attitude is deeply cynical or brightly optimistic, the Canadian band Metric keeps its songs neat, succinct, and tuneful on its sixth album, Pagans in Vegas, making the lessons of 1980s new wave sound current,” said The Times.

Electro quintet Joywave open for Metric on Sunday! Tickets are available online.

w/ Joywave
The Fillmore Silver Spring
Sunday, March 13
Show @8pm
All ages