Tour Buzz

MEASURED LOVE: The URL for Metric’s official website is, and goddamn it, it’s true: I love this Canadian band something fierce. I love the way they fuse the cool of Blondie and the clockwork thump of the Cars. I love the way their enduring hit “Help I’m Alive” makes our hearts beat, not unlike a hammer. And I love their new album Synthetica, because it finds Metric continuing in its unspoken mission: to make New Wave actually sound new again. And I’m far from the only one who feels this way: After checking Metric’s Sept. 6 show in Rochester, N.Y., Rochester City Newspaper’s Frank DeBlase gushed, “Metric picks up where New Wave left off when it opted for disco cheese.” Later, he added, “Singer Emily Haines came out sporting long, sleek legs emerging from hot pants that, along with the lights, almost sent me into a seizure.” I almost forgot Emily! Te amo. Metric plays the House of Blues on Oct. 6 ($40).

THE DESCENDENTS: We continue this special New Wave Revival edition of Tour Buzz with The xx. To my thinking, New Wave was born when the first-wave punks finally copped to their previously secret love of ABBA … and The xx, scheduled to perform poolside at the Cosmopolitan on Oct. 10 ($37), seems so thoroughly enamored of that cultural moment that it’s tempting to connect them directly to New Order, Gang of Four and the like—but as contemporaries, not as copyists. Much as I love Metric, they operate at a remove from their influences, where The xx seems to co-exist with theirs; they are a New Wave band of the first water. To paraphrase Michael Stipe, I’m not sure how that works, but I like it.

NOW ON SALE: Let’s end our year as we began it: with our cold ears ringing and our drunken heads singing. The Black Keys are playing The Joint on Dec. 30-31, and while the ticket prices are high—$171-$342—it’s a small price to pay for sending off this long year with a final blast of blues and glam.



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