The Genius Behind a Zoé and Metric Tour
By Richard Gonzalez
When it was announced a few months ago, the idea of having Zoé and Metric co-headline a tour around the U.S seemed like a fun idea to me, a fan of both bands. But after attending their stop at ACL Live in Austin this weekend it took a more progressive approach than I had originally thought. From a business perspective, it makes perfect sense. Take two bands with very distinct audiences, and you get to have them perform in bigger venues and sell more tickets. But if you want to be a little more idealistic, this tour has an underlying message and a bit more substance.
Metric is from Canada while Zoé hails from Mexico. And both bands have spent that last decade amassing an array of accolades while gaining a dedicated fan base. Both are niche artists that may not necessarily be known to the others particular audience. That's where it gets fun. There are so many conversations these days about borders so even if it wasn't the initial point, it's great to see two amazing bands—hailing from opposite sides of the northern and southern borders of the United States—team up to conquer the U.S and create a unique union between fans.
It was interesting as a bystander who attends a lot of shows to stand and watch the audience rush to make it inside the venue in time to see Zoé kick things off. Those that were there for Metric kind of took their time, not knowing exactly what to expect. And that's the magic of it: you could not deny the sights and sound of the Latin Grammy-winning band, who were very aware of the new listeners and took time between songs to explain their meanings in English before launching to the next song. Zoé is established on their own and didn't need to make this effort, which made it all the more impressive.
The band performed several tracks from their latest album, Aztlán, along with some of their most memorable songs, including selections from their famous MTV Unplugged appearance. Considering all that they have done in their 20-year career and the size of the venues they play in their native Mexico, it was a gift to see what some would find an "intimate" performance from the group.
Meanwhile, Metric has played several shows in Austin throughout their career and has always had an enthusiastic fan base in town that made them the proper headliner for the evening. They did not lose any of the audience from Zoé's performance, and even if there was any chance of that happening, it was gone from the start of the first song.
Emily Haines and company came out high energy from the start and rushed from each side of the stage, dancing and luring the crowd into a frenzy with songs from their latest, Art of Doubt. While the stage set up was a little more minimal, it was more than made up for by Haines’ stage presence. Hearing her belt out vocals from some of the bands most popular songs in person is always a sight to see. She worked through various tracks from their catalog before closing the show with "Help, I'm Alive," bringing the energy in the audience to a boiling point and closing out a fantastic night of music.