It’s hard to accurately describe Canadian indie band Metric because its members fuse so many genres of music and so many sounds. A simple Internet search of Metric gives an “official” description of its music as “hook-filled, utterly infectious spiky pop.” So be it.
Metric — made up of frontwoman Emily Haines, guitarist James Shaw, bassist Josh Winstead, and drummer Joules Scott-Key — has been growing in popularity since its breakout 2005 sophomore album Live It Out. In support of the album, the band recorded its March 1, 2006 Montreal, Quebec concert and is releasing it as its first live performance DVD Live At Metropolis.
Shot in 1:85:1 widescreen, the concert footage wouldn’t be mistaken for any Hollywood pictures, but is surprisingly clear given the footage retains much of the misty, shadowy concert hall atmosphere. Recorded concert performances would be boring to watch completely straightforward with one camera focused solely on the stage, so it’s a huge welcome to see how planned the recording was as evidenced by the use of what looks to be at least six cameras.
Much is owed to the direction and editing that created a pretty entertaining presentation that matches the band’s high-energy performance. Fast cuts and fades are used frequently, as are a few visual effects including an interesting mirror effect (think '80s) used throughout the concert. During “Poster of a Girl” the quality is noticeably degraded for effect in a few close-up shots of Haines on the synthesizer (or it might have just have been a result of the lighting). The concert’s denouement holds the most visual effects and is very interesting (somewhat trippy even) as a way to view the band’s music.
The best performance is hands-down “The Police and the Private” where the lights change to create this ghostly, almost heavenly, reflection of the band on stage. Purple and white are the only colors on stage, and it matches the song perfectly.
The concert runs a very brisk 67-minutes that are for the most part straightforward in terms of simply showing the band’s performance. I doubt Metric was on stage for only 67-minutes so I assume some footage was cut like interludes and short water breaks. There also wasn’t much interaction between the band and the crowd, except for a brief “Hey Montreal” by Haines.
In addition to the concert footage (which is broken up into 14 chapters), three music videos are included from the Live It Out album: “Monster Hospital,” “Poster of a Girl,” and “Empty” (which the band surprisingly didn’t perform). The audio tracks are PCM Stereo and 5.1 Surround.
There are some unfortunate omissions on the DVD. I would have liked to see some band interviews describing the concert, a backstage or behind-the-scenes featurette as the band prepared for the concert, and at least a gallery of band photos. There could have been more. With all of the preparation, there wasn’t much thought into making this a comprehensive Metric DVD.
To view the DVD’s trailer, click here. A special Live At Metropolis EP can be purchased on iTunes that includes three live tracks (“Patriarch on a Vespa”, “The Police and the Private” and “Too Little Too Late”) and the aforementioned DVD trailer.
01. Live it Out
02. Glass Ceiling
03. Wet Blanket
04. Too Little Too Late
05. Poster of a Girl
06. Patriarch on a Vespa
07. Monster Hospital
09. The Police and the Private
10. Hustle Rose
11. Combat Baby
12. Dead Disco
13. Love is a Place
Metric’s DVD Live at Metropolis will be released on 2/12/08.