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Concert Sun May 25 2014
Metronomy has gone through some massive growth spurts in its inception. Originally the group consisted solely of Joseph Mount creating experimental electronic music. Quickly he began adding members for live shows, expanding his music simultaneously. Eventually the group grew to a veer full-fledged band, much grander and substantially different from its origins. They've gone shifted through soundscapes, from the accessible The English Riviera to the surprisingly psych Love Letters. They came through Metro this past Wednesday, showing how far they gotten in recent years.
Cloud Control, an Australian psych rock opened the night. While it's relatively easy to define them as a psych rockers, they tend to veer towards a very poppy version of it. A lot of the pop sensibilities could be attributed to the infectious energy that the band's vocalists exhibited. Heidi Lenffer's heavily modified voice on one of the songs was delightful. Alister Wright's voice was also incredibly versatile, gleefully transitioning from mannered vocals to high pitched snarls. The band is incredibly cohesive, with songs like "Promises" sounding similar to the Pixies in their prime.
As the stage was being set for Metronomy, it became very clear that this was going to be a very different experience from their previous concerts. I had seen them perform at a much smaller stage, cramped together with small circular lights attached to their chest. This time around the stage was much bigger, with large pink clouds in the backdrop accented the pure white podiums framing the colorful and translucent drum kit in the center. It was an impressive change, one that got better as the set started.
All the members of Metronomy came out dressed in white as the podiums began changing to every pastel color they could manage in sync with the music, a huge step up the simple flashing of their earlier set ups. Despite the DIY nature of Metronomy's beginnings, they fit into their more polished setting quite well. Mount's stage presence was completely unrestricted, as he continually switched between instruments and danced around. His strange but lovable cadence when speaking to the crowd hasn't changed as he spoke about their free day in Chicago, which included a Cubs game and getting complimented on his wardrobe by a transvestite.
The set spanned the groups song, bundling them together in perfect couplings. The danceable "Holiday" moved straight into "Radio Ladio". The crowd at the Metro burst at the more instantly recognizable songs, easily overpowering Mount during the spelling chorus of "Radio Ladio". "The Look", while being a slightly reworked version, gathered the same enthusiasm from the audience. Even songs of the new album were being met with the same fervor. It was very clear that everyone at the Metro werehuge fans of Metronomy. Their set held out for a nearly perfect length, ending with encores "Heartbreaker" and "You could easily have me" which descended into all out punk rock loudness.