Elton John will feast on your bones: the sad festival tale of Metric

This is the band Metric:

They played on Friday night at Music Midtown in Atlanta, a gargantuan two-day festival that includes everyone from Drake to Van Halen. Their specified gig time, as you can see here, was 8:15 p.m. to 9 p.m., making them the last of the bands to play before the headliners rolled in.

I know nothing about Metric, aside from the fact that they’re from Canada, which is just perfect for the purposes of this story. Their live show was a quality mix of pop rock, ’80s musical themes melded with ’10s lyrical ones. And I was enjoying kicking back and listening to them as the last of the sun set.

A note here about the layout of Music Midtown: Atlanta’s Piedmont Park has two gargantuan fields, one flat, one sharply sloping. Each field has two different stages. Metric was set up at the smallest of the four stages, at the bottom of the sloped field. They’d amassed a solid crowd around them, probably a couple thousand people or so, but smaller by an order of magnitude than the crowd gathering at the upper field stage … awaiting Sir Elton John.

When you’re a smaller band at a festival with a bigger band about to come on, it’s got to be like playing on a train track. The locomotive is coming soon, and it’s not stopping for you.

Sure enough…Metric singer Emily Haines told the crowd in front of her that they were coming up on the end of their time. As they prepared to play their final song-


…drums, deafeningly loud, rolled downward from the stage above. Elton John’s band thundered into “The Bitch Is Back” several minutes early and, well, that was it for poor Metric. They soldiered on, playing their final song, but it was lost beneath the glittering tsunami of 70s piano rock. Haines told the crowd still with her to “sing along if you can still hear us,” or something like that–I couldn’t quite hear her–and I felt a bit bad for ’em.

But hey, if you’re going to get run off the stage, better Elton John than boos, I guess.


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