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Metric: An interview with a fan

Carol revisits and recounts her favorite concert ever of her favorite band of all time. At an uncertain time in her life, her passion for music remains her only sense of security...

I'm 25. I don't have a job right now because I just moved to DC from Pittsburgh to be with my girlfriend.  So, I'm unemployed - bummer. Yeah - it's super stressful and I'm tired of responding to emails that don’t go anywhere. They're all Admin jobs, but I had an admin job in Pittsburgh that actually required neurons and paid decently…but these ads, I mean I guess that it was the same as when I was applying for jobs in PA.  You see these ads that are like you need a PhD and 20 years of experience in Excel, but we're only going to pay you $8/hour.  Why would I want to do that?  But I signed up with a temp service, and they found me a short-term thing.  It's an editing job, which is actually right up my alley and more aligned with my interests.  It's short-term, but maybe it'll be a good experience. 

DC…it is okay.  I really fell in love with Pittsburgh, so I'm having some growing pains.  You know, I made the choice to leave.  Sam (my girlfriend) was like, 'if you want to come, come. If not, I'll understand'. So…it's weird. I mean, I like had to think about it for a really long time.  I still don't know if it was the right decision…it'll take some getting used to. Because I LOVED Pittsburgh. I think it's because I went to undergrad there.  I only lived in the city for 2 years, but before that- I was in undergrad for 5 years. So you're talking more like 7 years. Like, I like DC - I liked it the couple times I visited it.  It is closer to the beach so that’s great. It'll just take some time getting used to it.

My favorite band of all time is Metric.  My favorite Metric show was in Brooklyn at the Music Hall of Williamsburg.  My friend and I had won tickets to the show - it was a secret show and an online contest.  You had to check the website. They would post trivia questions about the band and you had to be one of the first people to answer them right and you got 2 tickets to the show.  So a few days before we were at another show - this is when I was in Philly, I was at home on a break.  We were at another show at a bar and we were obsessively checking the website because they were supposed to post the questions.  We freak out when they post them and then we send them the answers.  And we're so excited and refreshing and refreshing and refreshing Gmail, and then the little thing pops up that's like 'Congratulations!" and we screamed and freaked out.  So it kind of overshadowed the show that we were at -- we didn't even really care about that anymore.

So, the show was like a week later. It was the day after their new album had come out. And they were supposed to be playing the entire album from start to finish to promote it. It was a special show just for the bands and for corporate people.  We were pretty psyched - we ended up driving to Brooklyn from Philly at 7 am and we got in line around lunchtime. There was no one else there - we were first, so we decided to just wait it out. The show didn’t start until 8pm.  So, we're waiting in line and we're taking turns to go and get food and finding places to pee and stuff, you know all the stuff you have to normally do over a span of 8 or so hours.  The closer it got to show time more people started lining up behind us, but before more people started lining up, we actually saw all the members of the band at different points going into the building. Metric’s lead singer is Emily Haines, and then there's three guys who play bass, guitar and drums. We saw the three guys and they were like hanging out outside, and we were just kind of looking at them and looking at each other. There’s a certain etiquette that fans need to follow. You don't want to attack them, but you're also super-psyched, so you have to figure out how to control yourself. I tend to be the person who will talk to them and ask for autographs and stuff, but only if they’re up for it. If they're just minding their own business - I'll just let them be. So we were just waiting and watching them, and then they went inside.  And then 10 minutes later Emily Haines appears out of nowhere and walks in the front door of the venue like she owns the place.  And it was awesome and it was only a split second but it's one of my favorite memories. I got to see my hero, 5 feet from me, doing something so completely normal, like walking into a venue. It felt surreal. I love her because of the way she performs…I've never seen anyone give 100% and more. That is IT for her, every night.   

But, yeah so we ended up waiting for a really long time. When the show finally started, they played the whole album from start to finish, and they played some old fan-favorite songs too.  It was amazing. I had been a Metric fan for a few years at this point, and this was a secret show so I feel like I earned it. This was at the height of my Metric insanity. It just had a different vibe than any show that I've been too.  Like everyone in the room had won the contest so they were all there for the love of Metric. It was just awesome, that's like my favorite Metric story I think.

Anything I say about why I love live music will sound really corny, but it's like when I'm at a show, I'm somewhere else, I'm someone else.  Anything that's going on, isn't going on anymore.  Not to bring up Metric again, but at one of their shows right before one particular song Emily was like 'If you know the words, singalong - if you don't, lay down and forget something you want to forget."  It’s that kind of thinking that I love about going to a concert. I am at the show, I am with a bunch of other people who feel the same way as me about this band. It’s about being able to see someone sing about things you believe in and things you like. It’s the camaraderie and that sense of belonging.

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