Or, How I Spent My Canada Day.
Seriously, what could be more appropriate than watching one of your favourite Canadian bands (note correct spelling) on Canada Day, from the floor of a hockey stadium? I guess I could have been doing it while swigging a Kokanee or shoveling poutine into my mouth, but those weren’t options on the table.
I’ve been a big fan of Metric since the early 2000s, when a friend turned me onto them via a mix cd in college (welcome to the most early-2000s sentence you’ve read today). Not to say I’m an obsessive fangirl or anything, but my air guitar song this year was an edit of “Empty,” so draw your own conclusions, I guess. Anyway, it’s great to see bands whose quality you’ve always known about be recognized by a wider audience. I got to witness some kids encountering the band for the first time and being instantly converted to fans. They also started yelling “HAPPY CANADA DAY!” which was nice of them.
The first song they played, “Stadium Love,” was the last song they had played the last time I saw them here, a few years back, which was a neat little loop to execute. I commenced losing my mind immediately, throwing my fist up from the first chorus, singing along, the whole thing. And when the song ends on Emily Haines’ bell-clear tone ringing out, my heart just soared out of my chest and up to the rafters and through all the sports banners and then came gently back down to rest.
The setlist was focused mainly around the two most recent albums, Synthetica and Fantasies, with some new stuff off the upcoming album, Pagans in Vegas, mixed in. But whichever songs they played, it was impossible to tear your eyes away from the stage. At one point, Haines suddenly had a cape on – a gauzy, floaty purple behemoth that trailed after her and flew up into the air over air vents that I couldn’t see from my vantage point. Capes: why not more?
I was fortunate enough to be on guitarist James Shaw’s side of the stage, so I got to watch him take great joy in playing, and doing all the sweet moves I hoped he would, being someone who pretended to play his same instrument on one of his same songs. I wonder if that’s an honour or a huge embarrassment that he’ll be teased about on tour forever, to find out that someone air guitared to him. I’m hoping for the former, but I get it if it’s the latter.
Speaking of playing guitar, at one point, Haines picked up her guitar and asked the crowd if any girls in attendance played. The cheer could, honestly, have been louder – step it up, young ladies of Boston, and also enroll your little sisters (or daughters) in Girls Rock Camp – but it was heartfelt from those girls who could boast of guitar prowess, and the rest of the women in the room were instructed to give it a try. I would amend that to say that you could also pretend to play guitar; that’s pretty fun as well.
I obviously need to get my mitts on the new album the moment it comes out, and you probably do too. You can pre-order it here. In the meantime, you may also enjoy the video for the new single, “The Shade.”