Emily Haines @ Union Pool, Brooklyn

Emily Haines, lead singer of Canadian band Metric, played three back to back shows (the latter of which was simply a guest slot with Tall Firs) at Union Pool in Brooklyn on Sunday. I caught the second show.

The original plan, as I understood it, was for Emily to play some of her solo material, which is quite the departure from the up-tempo beats Metric’s known for. As she and Jimmy Shaw (Metric’s guitarist) took the stage, however, they announced that they’d be playing the entirety of the new album, which they’d just finished recording that day. Surprise!

Emily Haines

Emily Haines

Jimmy Shaw

Jimmy Shaw

The crowd was packed comfortably in the small room and composed of many of the same people who were at the Metric show at the Highline Ballroom last month. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about a pared-down version of the band, just the piano and guitar combo (no synthesizers!), but as the set went on, I found I was really enjoying it. There’s just something about Emily’s lyrics that resonates, bloops and bleeps aside.

As I surveyed the room, it seemed I definitely wasn’t alone with this feeling. I was particularly fond of “Front Row” and “Twilight Galaxies,” the latter of which the band has been performing for awhile, but has yet to make it onto an album.

There was quite a bit of stage banter, even though Haines was initially hesitant. She pointed out that her mouth got her into a lot of trouble, then relayed an anecdote from a show in Portland she claimed was disastrous (my word, not hers) because of it. She also mentioned that the album was as-yet untitled and that suggestions were welcome.

The pair closed out the set with “Live It Out,” which I think is even better acoustic than its better known incarnation. On my way out of the venue, listening to the chatter and overall excitement about the new album, I noticed bassist Josh Winstead descending from the balcony. Overall, it was an amazing performance. Setlist as follows:

Gold
Help
Fantasies
Sympathy
Front Row
Satellite*
Twilight Galaxies
Collect Call
Blindness
Live It Out

* Things got switched up at some point. According to my notes, they played “Front Row” and then “Twilight Galaxies.” I don’t know remember where “Satellite” came in.

Photos: Dese'Rae Stage

Metric: website | myspace
Emily Haines: website | myspace

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