December 5, 2012

Metric with Stars at the ACC

On November 24, Metric and Stars put on a great Toronto show at the ACC. It's a huge venue for these Canadian indie darlings and demonstrates just how popular these two bands have become. I saw Metric on their last tour when they stopped by Massey Hall.

Unfortunately, this is the first time I've seen Stars live. It's unfortunate because I really tend to enjoy shows in smaller venues, like Lee's Palace, The Horseshoe, The Mod Club and The Phoenix more than shows at bigger venues like Sound Academy, Koolhaus, Massey Hall, Rogers Centre and the ACC, and Stars are now beyond the days of playing at the intimate venues I prefer. Good for them, bad for me.

Both bands put on great sounding sets, and both were highly thankful for the success that has allowed them to play such huge venues.
Stars started off the night with their wonderful tunes. They went back as far as 2006's Set Yourself On Fire album and performed songs from 2007's In Our Bedroom After The War, 2010's The Five Ghosts and their most recent, The North. I was going to name some personal highlights, but as I reviewed the setlist, I realize there are too many favourite tunes to pick highlights. I only wish they played for an additional hour and were able to reach further back in their catalog to songs from Heart like "Elevator Love Letter", "Heart", "Death to Death" and "Romantic Comedy", and "My Radio" from Nightsongs. Torquil Campbell's emotional speech was certainly a highlight, in which mentioned T.O. as a home town for the band alongside Montreal,  he threatened to start crying, and he implored us to always make room in our lives for art, because art makes our lives beautiful. True words for sure.

"Elevator Love Letter"

"Your Ex-Lover is Dead"

"Take Me To The Riot"

"Hold On When You Get Love And Let Go When You Give It"

Metric are consummate professionals on stage, putting on a highly polished show. However, for me, that polish does tend to somehow leave me a bit cold. Not that I didn't have fun. I did. Just not as much fun as I would have if Stars had been headlining, or if Metric showed a bit more spontaneity, even if it was just for show.
Metric played a variety of tunes from across their discography, only leaving out their little-known first album, 2001's Grow Up and Blow Away. I guess I should be happy that they included "Dead Disco" from Old World Underground, Where Are You Now, but I would have liked to hear more from those earlier, more guitar-driven albums, including more than two songs from Live It Out. I can't blame them for spending most of their time on 2009's Fantasies and their most recent release, Synthetica, while including "Black Sheep" from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

Overall, great show from Metric, including some nice stories from Emily about her high school activist days at Etobicoke School of the Arts. Good message for their increasingly younger audience.

"Combat Baby"

"Dead Disco"

"Gimme Sympathy"

"Sick Muse"

"Gold Guns Girls"

"Youth Without Youth"

The photos in this post are original pics by me, taken from far, far, far, far away from the stage, not the usual professional pics stolen from some other web site. You can tell the difference original art makes.