Metric / Half Moon Run - Live in Upper Darby (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Metric / Half Moon Run

Live in Upper Darby (2012)

live show

It's weird seeing a band you used to like. It's like talking to an ex well after you've both moved on. Yet there I was Sat., Sept. 22, beholding Metric at Upper Darby's Tower Theatre, because my wife still really, really likes this band. And while I haven't been on board with anything the band has done post-Live It Out, they still put on a solid show that got the seated-only attendees on their feat.

Openers Half Moon Run got a big response too, despite being a somewhat odd pick for the tour. Arguably more of a folksy jam band (so much white guy dancing), the members were still admirably tight, often doubling up on instruments. While they were a bit on the sleepy side, Half Moon Run still got a huge reaction.

Metric, though, were clearly the stars. It looks like the years since they started self-releasing their music have been kind to them, as they had one heck of a light show. Overall, they were high energy and fairly tight, although drummer Joules Scott-Key occasionally flubbed some hits.

The set stuck to new record Synthetica. Given that Metric is on their own, it makes sense that they'd want to push their latest album hard, and it is admittedly a decent collection of synth-rock tunes, but given that they did the exact same thing when touring 2009's Fantasies, it made the setlist predictable. There wasn't much in terms of surprises. Indeed, the only pre-Fantasies songs played were "Dead Disco," "Empty" and "Monster Hospital," and all three were jammed out a bit too long. Metric is at their best when they're overstimulating the senses; breaking it down is not one of their strengths.

One legitimate surprise came about when the band brought out Half Moon Run for a cover of the Velvet Underground's "Pale Blue Eyes." Metric struggled somewhat with mid tempo songs, but this faithful interpretation really hit hard. Emily Haines spoke at length about how excited she was to play at a venue with some history (Rolling Stones played here; David Bowie's David Live was recorded here), and while some of her stories rambled on a bit, you could tell she was legitimately stoked to be here.

Synthetica hasn't restored my faith in Metric, but I can admit it's nice to hear the band return to more electronic-based songwriting after the more classic rock-leaning Fantasies. The crowd certainly enjoyed the new songs, although they did reserve their biggest shouts for the hits. All the same, it was good to see Metric prosper, even our interests have gone separate ways.