Rolling up for their 11:45 a.m. set -- much earlier than any rock show should ever take place -- Metric jumped onto the Red Bull Sound Space at KROQ stage and instantly dove into performance mode. Lead singer Emily Haines smiled behind oversized sparkly gold sunglasses and grabbed the mic, as guitarist James Shaw, bassist Josh Winstead, and drummer Joules Scott-Key kicked off the set with “Artificial Nocturne,” the opening track from the freshly released “Synthetica.”
Metric kept things strictly business in the L.A. studio. They swiftly transitioned from one song to the next, with minimal small talk. They went through six tunes in total, all off the new album, which Haines deemed as “barely a week old.” Metric's latest single “Youth Without Youth” came next, followed by “Speed The Collapse” and 'Lost Kitten.'
Watching Metric perform made a couple of things apparent: First, everyone has an indie-rock crush on Emily Haines. And if that wasn’t obvious by the crowd’s blissful faces, it was certainly solidified during a post show Q&A, when a zealous fan prefaced her question with: “Emily, how does it feel to be so ridiculously good looking?”
It's also pretty much impossible not to dance your ass off when listening to 'Synthetica,' which is filled with pulsating electro-synth/indie-rock anthems -- and a heady concept about what's real and what's artificial.
Haines has explained the new album as being about “staying at home and wanting to crawl out of your skin from the lack of external stimulation, about forcing yourself to confront what you see in the mirror when you finally stand long enough to catch a reflection and being able to identify the original in a long line of reproductions." It's a heavy subject matter to swallow, especially at a rock show.
The band closed out the set with 'Breathing Underwater' and the album's title track. Then KROQ DJ Stryker jumped on stage. He asked how exactly they handle composing themselves for such early shows.
Haines admitted to going to bed past 3:00 a.m. that morning but said that her actual bedtime was “confidential.” Her advice to bands dealing with pre-noon engagements was something to take note of.
“Just pretend you have jetlag and that you exist in this whole other time dimension where it's you and your music and your band and crew," she said. "You just kind of roll in your own time continuum space.”
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