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.
all photos by Mike Kurman
After I heard that he was a big fan, I asked guest reviewer and concert photographer, Mike Kurman to cover the Sara Bareilles concert for We Love DC.
On a cold, rainy Sunday night in Baltimore, Sara Bareilles grabbed hold of the diverse, multi-aged crowd and didn’t let go for her hour and forty minute set. Rarely have I seen a performer with such confidence as Bareilles. Supporting the excellent ‘Kaleidoscope Heart’ LP, Bareilles came out with a backing four piece band that was equally energetic and extremely tight. There was no warming up or easing into the set. Barielles came out banging on the keys of a royal blue baby grand while swaying, swerving, and singing. Her voice didn’t crack once throughout the evening, not one note was sour or even close to off key, as it echoed off the industrial brick walls of Rams Head Live! as if it was a temple. The performance was downright flawless.
photo by Michael Darpino.
The Smashing Pumpkins (2010 edition) performed at Ram’s Head Live in Baltimore on Monday night. The show was part of the current ‘small venue’ tour to promote Billy Corgan’s latest free-on-the-internet Smashing Pumpkins’ project/album, “Teargarden by Kaleidyscope”. The small venue tour also seems designed to generate the buzz of exclusivity for shows that are meant to erase the memory of the 2008 anniversary tour that swayed in quality from disappointment to fiasco. As both a promotional tour for the new album (it got me downloading it*) and a do-over for the infamous 2008 “shitshow“, Monday night’s concert was a success. The show was less a nostalgia trip (although some classics were performed) than it was an introduction to the new line-up, an exploration of the band’s more recent output, and an ego-stroke for The Smashing Pumpkins’ perpetually wounded band-leader Billy Corgan.