I am now going to unabashedly gush about Metric, who played a sold-out show at Ram’s Head Live in Baltimore Friday night.
The combination of the sweet, breathy vocals of Emily Haines along with the rock guitar of James Shaw and the dependable rhythm section of bassist Joshua Winstead and drummer Joules Scott-Key make for an irresistible concert performance. The band always has been a favorite of mine since I first heard the single “Combat Baby,” and their first album, “Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?” In that song and many others on their first few albums, the band relied on catchy melodies and wordplay to create fun, thoughtful songs.
But in their last two albums, Metric have stepped it up a quite a bit. The fourth album, Fantasies, and the fifth, Synthetica, which came out about a year ago, marked a quantum leap in exhibiting their capabilities in songwriting and crafting infectious dance music. The strengths of the band members and the power of the Synthetica album were on full display Friday as they opened with “Artificial Nocturne,” which starts out in a sweet and fragile vocal and sparse instrumentation before blowing up into a full-blown disco thumper — a favorite Metric tactic. It’s an entrancing, intoxicating song that is readymade to be a concert opener, luring you in and then opening you up to more intricate sounds as the song moves along.