Next Friday, July 14th, TD Pavilion at the Mann will be hosting Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Garbage for the local stop of their double-headlining tour. However, opening the show is nearly as renowned (and longstanding) indie rockers Metric, who have been kicking out synth-heavy new wave jams for more than two decades now (and these days selling just as many tickets as either of the superstars of ‘90s alternative rock). The Canadian quartet are touring behind last year’s Formentera LP, which The Needle Drop called, “Metric’s most solid album in a decade.” So, if you had any uncertainty about whether or not to come out to this triple bill, or you questioned whether or not you needed to make it there in time for Metric’s 7pm opening set, here are 5 reasons you need to come see Metric next Friday at The Mann.
1. Metric always turns up for the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.
In the past 20 years, Metric have played more than a dozen shows in and around the 215, including early dates at First Unitarian Church (2003 and 2005) and North Star Bar (2004), a date at Starlight Ballroom in 2006, headlining dates at our favorite burlesque theatre (The Trocadero) in 2007 and 2009, Radio 104.5 Summer festival gigs in 2010 and 2013, a stop at the legendary Tower Theatre in 2012, mega shows supporting Paramore and Smashing Pumpkins, and two headlining dates at The Fillmore, including a gig just last Fall. And whether they’re playing in a rock dive or arena stage, a headlining show or an afternoon festival set, they always manage to produce a dance party spectacle capable of cementing the love of their fans and winning over newcomers, alike.
2. Their latest album is absolutely phenomenal.
The summer of 2022 saw the release of Metric’s post-pandemic eighth studio album, Formentera, a sort of career-spanning commentary on musical stardom in the first quarter of the 21st century, including nods to nearly all of the most potent and poignant dance music of the past 50 years. The album’s first single, and best track, “All Comes Crashing,” is a delectably moody, synth-laden celebration of the band’s legacy, whether it be primed for another 20 years, or it expires at midnight… Although, as snarky and cynical as Metric’s swagger tends to be, I suspect even the band knows the latter is pretty unlikely.
3. EMILY FUCKING HAINES
Much like Siouxsie Sioux, Deborah Harry, and PJ Harvey, Metric frontwoman Emily Haines established herself as an icon of Pinterest long before it existed. She can regularly be seen rocking hot pants, leather jackets, and lamé jumpsuits with either complete abandon or an ineffable chicness (If you haven’t already, you need to start planning your outfit for the evening now.) And seeing her live just affirms that she has a mastery of all the carefully choreographed glittering chaos of a classic Rock N’ Roll performance that only a handful of her generation have even come close to. On top of all that, she was friends with Lou Reed…
4. This (see above) live set just totally slays.
Following the release of their 2018 seventh, and arguably best, studio album, Art of Doubt, Metric spent the middle section of 2019 playing major festivals the world over, including this gig at Electric Castle in Romania, which is pro-shot and captured in full here. The performance features a platinum Haines, decked out in skintight jeans and an astounding denim jacket, strutting across a massive stage (and ego ramp) and commanding an open-air crowd in all of her postmodern rock star glory. The set, which features 7 of the 9 songs they’ve been playing on their run supporting Garbage and Mr. Gallagher, boasts a “best of” the second half of their career, including singles “Gold Gun Girls,” “Breathing Underwater,” and “Dark Saturday.”
5. The headliners are still great.
While they could easily be the third headliners on what should be a triple-headlining bill (They regularly headline the same venues as the other two…), it’s really more admirable than anything that Metric are taking opening duties in honor of these two legendary ‘90s acts. Metric may be the ones most firmly in their prime, but Shirley Manson and Garbage would have seemed to pave the way for electronic rockers like Metric, and they’ve lost very little of their dancably angsty sass since their “glory days.” And it’s hard to argue that anyone wrote more iconic, stadium-sized anthems in the ‘90s than Noel Gallagher… many of which he will be playing, in addition to tracks from his latest album with the High Flying Birds, which is actually pretty great…
*Get your tickets here.