Even in the middle of a snowstorm, this English electronic group was on fire
Up until now, Metronomy has been evolving their sound between each new album. From lo-fi electronica to wonky pop, and from new wave to electronic rock, each release and subsequent tour had its own fresh take on what Metronomy was.
Last year, the band put out their sixth album, Metronomy Forever, a 17-track amalgamation of every genre Metronomy had dabbled in, while still having room for a few surprise twists. This direction also sums up their current tour quite well––Metronomy has brought their performance to the next level while still paying homage to their funky indie roots.
Upon arrival last Friday night, Feb. 7, the MTelus venue was quite empty even though it was only a few minutes away from the official start time of the show, most likely due to the unfortunate weather. The supporting act was supposed to be indie-dance artist Charlotte Adigery, but her replacement, Montreal’s own Birds of Paradise, informed the crowd that she was unable to make it. They joked about how it was as much a surprise for us as for them, as they only got called a few hours prior and already had tickets to the show. It ended up being a nice surprise as they captured the crowd’s attention with their unique blend of machine folk and romantic pop. In particular, their cover of Ozzie Nelson’s classic “Dream a Little Dream of Me” was a standout moment.
Metronomy kept it simple this time, at least compared to the gimmicks and wild costumes of their past live shows. A cloth backdrop was the only real set-piece. On either side of the stage, Michael Lovett and Oscar Cash were playing customized synth structures on wheels, with Anna Prior on drums towards the back. Bassist Olugbenga Adelekan and lead singer Joseph Mount were at the front, with plenty of space to dance around. Their set––or lack of one––and the matching white jumpsuits might seem minimal on paper, but the simplicity put an emphasis on the lighting and the music.
Metronomy treated the crowd to an energetic 21-song setlist, packed with their greatest hits and some hidden gems. Between each track from Metronomy Forever were hits from the last few albums crossing all genres while avoiding any jarring changes to the vibe. Every member had a track where they got the spotlight to shine. Prior’s vocals in “Everything Goes My Way” and Oscar Cash’s theremin synth in “Boy Racers” are two good examples.
Throughout the whole night, the crowd could be heard singing along to every track and had great energy. As the set came to an end with “Sex Emoji,” people weren’t ready to go home just yet, and cheered until Mount returned to the stage solo for an acoustic version of “Upset My Girlfriend.” Then the rest of the band slowly made their way back to the stage for a final explosive rendition of “Radio Ladio.”
All together, Metronomy’s concert was a great treat for their biggest fans and a fantastic first show for new ones as they enter a new decade of their career.
Photos by Cecilia Piga