CARAS One of Canada's biggest bands won three Junos at this year's awards on…
- Posted on Aug 6th 2010 11:00AM by Kenneth Partridge
Statia Photography, Getty Images
"It is not a stadium, it's a park, goddamn it!" lead singer Emily Haines said, psyching up the crowd for the final song in her band's hour-long set. "We have Prospect Park love -- Prospect Park stadium love!"
Metric was performing at the Prospect Park Bandshell, and Haines was introducing 'Stadium Love,' the epic closing track on its fourth album, 'Fantasies.' The song had it all: '80s synths, punk guitars, a dance beat and an "ooh-ooh ah-ooh-ooh" falsetto sing-along. Haines sold it with high-stepping glee, and she sang it like a neo-post-punk Bonnie Tyler or Olivia Newton John.
The show marked something of a homecoming for Metric, and during the encore, Haines recalled moving to New York City from Toronto and meeting bassist Josh Winstead and drummer Joules Scott-Key. That was in 2001, well after she'd already teamed with guitarist James Shaw and begun crafting the group's dark, fizzy sound -- a combination of rigid Strokes guitars and Interpol's poppy gloom.
What sets Metric apart from these and other early-'00s survivors are its high-gloss melodies and pure-pop instincts. On standout 'Help, I'm Alive,' the group effectively fused two songs: the somber, synth-driven one sketched out in the verses and the bright, major-key guitar jam that springs unexpectedly from the chorus. It was as if Depeche Mode's 'Never Let Me Down Again' suddenly morphed into Big Audio Dynamite's 'Rush.'
"I like to romanticize the past, but I think this is a good time to be alive," Haines said during the encore, just before she and Shaw played an acoustic version of 'Combat Baby,' all about resisting complacency and embracing the fractiousness of life and love. It's a poignant song with a pretty melody, and if Metric ever makes it to Yankee Stadium, they've got a cell-phone-waving finale.