If there's one type of music Canadians do well, it's rock. Yes, the same country that gave us Justin Bieber, Drake and The Weeknd also gave us The Guess Who, Rush, Alanis Morissette, Arcade Fire, The Sheepdogs and of course, "the little indie band that could," Metric.
On Friday night, the Canadian band (made up of Emily Haines, James Shaw, Joshua Winstead and Joules Scott-Key) rocked the stage at the Hammerstein Ballroom as part of their "Pagans In Vegas" tour. The show marked their first concert in New York City since last summer. From the moment they played the first few chords of "IOU" off their 2003 debut album, the crowd -- myself included -- knew they were in for a good show.
As lead singer Emily Haines jumped around on stage, the crowd jumped along with her, pumping fists in the air and shouting the lyrics back at her.
After four high-energy songs, including "Help I'm Alive" and "Cascades" -- for which Haines emerged like a rock goddess, wearing a flowing neon cape lit up by the set's black lights as a wind machine blew her blond hair back -- she broke into an a cappella version of "Raw Sugar."
At one point, the band brought up a group of audience members to help them sing "Dreams So Real," adding a little extra soul to the dystopic synth track. Haines even had one of the women on stage sing the final lyrics ("Baby wherever you are // baby whatever you do // Faster than you think // time staggers on") herself.
The band continued, playing a diverse variety of songs from their six-album discography including "Combat Baby," which also got the a cappella treatment, "Gold Guns Girls" and "The Shade," which ended the set.
Then came the impressive encore, during which the band performed a stripped-down version of "Gimme Sympathy" and finished things off with "Breathing Underwater."
For the entire show, it was clear the band was happy to be playing in New York again, and their loyal fans welcomed them back with open arms. The sound was polished, the light show was great and the energy, from both the band and the crowd, never faltered.
To put it plainly, Metric knows how to rock -- and their fans love them for it.