Earlier this month, Metric gave the world SPIN Essential album Synthetica, which our reviewer Josh Modell called “big, glossy, sexy, and willing, but never cheap.” In the past few days, the Toronto-based rockers have, in fact, been willing to perform new songs from the album in all sorts of settings, from the great outdoors to a hotel room on New York City’s Lower East Side. And each time, they’ve done so in creative ways that bring out new sides of their songs, never less than fully worthwhile.
The most straightforward takes came last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, where Metric charged through Synthetica’s glam-spiked “Youth Without Youth” and U2-lofty anthem “Breathing Underwater.” But even in that routine venue, singer Emily Haines’ tassel-bedecked stage presence helped bring a different energy to the material — nice clap-along, Kimmel fans!
Haines and guitarist James Shaw also performed Synthetica‘s title track acoustically against the gorgeous sunset landscape outside Washington venue the Gorge, for NPR. And the two unplugged for “Youth Without Youth” at Manhattan’s Bowery Hotel, before a show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg — well, an iPhone still provided the song’s steady pulse, but Haines’ good-natured harmonica blowing was 100 percent non-synthetic.
Watch all four video clips below, and be sure to check out our extensive October 2011 interview with Haines.