Thursday, April 01, 2010
Metric at the Hollywood Palladium
Metric continue to tirelessly tour behind their excellent release Fantasies making a fourth stop in Los Angeles after selling out the Wiltern, opening for Phoenix at the Greek Theater, and a quick appearance at the KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas. Even though they are originally from Toronto, it felt like a homecoming appearance as they filled the Hollywood Palladium with adoring fans.
Engaging the crowd early were Nico Vega who riled the audience up with their sultry three piece rock assault. Aja Volkman hit the stage like the Tasmanian devil with whirling animated movements while handling vocal duties. Rich Koehler was extremely busy on his guitar, expanding the sounds in order to fill the lack of space due to the absence of a bass player.
"So So Fresh" and "Gravity" were some of the dynamic songs in their set which featured Aja precariously walking along the front row rail. While Nico Vega didn't have much time on stage, they definitely made the most of it. It would be more interesting to see them in a small club with their own fanbase.
Codeine Velvet Club
Anyone remember the Fratellis? Codeine Velvet Club is the latest project that involves lead singer and guitarist Jon Lawler who also fronts The Fratellis. Lawler joined forces with the silky vocals of Lou Hickey to form a '60s James Bond stylized rock troupe.
I was unfamiliar with their songs but did enjoy their cover of Rolling Stones "Gimme Shelter". They lamented that they had to return to the frozen temperatures of Scotland but thanked the crowd for attentively listening. Their self-titled debut album came out in December of 2009 on Island records.
Wobbly stabs of theremin by guitarist James Shaw signaled the start of "Twilight Galaxy" as Emily Haines was stationed behind her Sequential circuits Pro-One keyboard hammering out the bass synth line. Metric have long perfected their live shows in that they breathe even more life into their songs led by the firecracker that is Emily Haines.
While she commands a lot of attention, Metric is definitely a band that functions as a solid unit. If Haines grabs her cordless microphone to work the front of the stage, Shaw or bassist Josh Winstead will fill in on keyboards while drummer Joules Scott-Key holds down the beat. The slashing guitars and urgent bass line of "Satellite Mind" nicely contrasted with Haines sugary sweet longing vocals.
Haines literally came up to the front of the stage during "Front Row" emphatically waving her arms and dancing along. The hollow electronic percussion slowly built up to the swelling anthemic chorus of "Help I'm Alive" with Haines thumping her fist over her heart singing "beating like a hammer". "Empty", "Collect Call" and "Gold Guns Girls" kept the energy level at maximum which nearly overloaded during "Gimme Sympathy".
It is hard not to think that they are reaching for playing larger venues with such anthems like "Stadium Love" which effectively closed out their main set. "Monster Hospital" and a surprising acoustic crowd sing along rendition of "Combat Baby" capped their two song encore. Metric is currently finishing up a tour of Canada before doing some more dates across the United States and wrapping up their tour in Europe.