Venue: Aragon Ballroom
City: Chicago, IL
Date: March 22nd 2019
Now Or Never Now
Bless me audiophiles for I have sinned. It has been 7 days since my last concert confession.
Can you imagine men and women alike from a wide span of ages having a crush on you? No thank you fuck that. What kind of pressure would that put on you and how would your anxiety be? Ask Emily Haines from Metric. She'll probably acknowledge the truth of it with a begrudging grain of salt. Because she undoubtedly values her years of writing, hustling, imparting her perspective and launching talent grenades into crowds for almost 20 years. She's gone through transformations, evolutions, periods where she felt lost and periods where she found herself. It's all there in she AND her band's music. Let's not forget the guys who have spent their career backing her with furious musical fire and loyalty. They are every bit Metric as Emily is. I've seen her with them three times and with Soft Skeleton once, and their presence or lack there of is undeniable.
This particular show at The Aragon was the first time I had ever seen Metric with a significant other (who by the way is one of those women who also has a crush on Emily). It had been a while since I had seen them...I think maybe around the time Synthetica came out when I was living in Minneapolis (the 3rd time of 4). The first thing we noticed was how young the crowd was. It was a bit weird to be among them...mostly because a lot of these kids weren't even alive the year Old World Underground (their first major release) came out. At that point, you realize just how good this band is. They have remained relevant and the object of a shit load of people's affection for the better part of 20 years. This time it felt less like "Emily Haines and Metric" in their stage presence. For the first time, they felt more like a band than a solo artist with a backing band. As much on stage as they do off stage. Don't get me wrong, Emily still provided the majority of the performance's gravitas. She's still very much an indelible force.
Speaking of indelible forces, it was really nice to stand next to one while watching one perform. My partner, a former musician who also plays/played the keys like Emily does, is my Emily Haines. A beautiful person no doubt, but whose most attractive values lie in who she is and what she represents to me, herself and those who are close to her. She, like Emily has been hustling, going through transformations and has had periods of both lost and found. While I was designing the image for this post "Now Or Never Now" came on and I thought to myself "holy shit...this is the anthem to my mid 30s" and relayed that to her. A song about restoring your sense of self. A track I put myself on starting with ending a 4-year relationship with an ex-girlfriend, one that continued with starting a job at an ad agency I've respected for a long time, furthered by starting the relationship I have with my partner and now is the part of the song where I'm feeling a bit lost but am starting to get back on track. As it turns out, we are both going through the same period in our lives together (and better for it). Her response to my text was "You're in a beautiful phase of refining further what you('ve been) drawn into and putting together plans to make shifts in alignment toward that." That's why I have a crush on her. My thanks to Metric for all these years of music, perspective and feels.