There's no doubt that this year has been a difficult one for live music. Hundreds of tours have been cancelled, taking away countless musicians' ability to promote their music and connect with their audience and taking away fans' opportunity to see their favorite artists live. And while, given the state of the pandemic, cancelling shows is certainly the best choice for everyone's safety, the absence of live music has left a hole in many people's lives, mine included.
For this reason, I think it is great that bands like METZ are doing virtual concerts to tide us over until in person shows can happen again. METZ recently came out with a new album, Atlas Vending, a loud, dissonant punk album that serves an excellent form of catharsis given the world's current insanity. Headbanging to "Hail Taxi" while washing the dishes when this album was first released certainly provided a much needed outlet for the stress I'd been building up in recent weeks. So when I fond out METZ were putting on a livestream show at the Opera House, I jumped at the chance to view it. One of the few upsides of the show being virtual is that I was able to attend a concert in Canada while laying in my bed in Tucson, Arizona.
The energy of the show was very different than an in person one, and not just for the obvious reasons. The members didn't introduce themselves, they didn't talk between songs. This stream was purely focused on the music. METZ was nonetheless a great live band, sounding even more energetic than they do in the studio and giving new life to their songs. They definitely struck me as a band that would be really fun to see live in person; I am a sucker for shows with guitar so loud it shakes you to your core, and I could tell, even through a screen, that I would have felt that way if I were in that room. It was an almost bittersweet experience watching them rock out from my bed, imagining how much fun it would be to actually be part of the crowd at one of their shows.
I was also quite impressed by the editing and lighting of the show. The video itself was extremely well filmed and well put together, and the dark, multicolored stage lighting set the somber but exciting tone of the evening. The musicians themselves were often cast in shadow, with moody purples and reds illuminating the backdrop and their instruments. Toward the end of the show there were even some surreal film effects that complemented the music's chaotic ambiance perfectly. I'm glad to see that METZ and their video/stage crew are making the best of our new virtual way of life by taking advantage of aspects of video that aren't options during in person shows. It shows that this band is truly dedicated to their art, even during hard times.
Overall, this show was a wonderful experience. It allowed me and other fans to take a break from the world's chaos and appreciate some great live music. While livestreams are never quite as fun as in person concerts (through no fault of the band or crew), they are still an amazing way to experience your favorite music in a way that feels more unique and personal than simply listening to a studio recording.
If you want to check out part of this METZ show, you can catch a video of the song "Parasite" here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0m8XPWdHGW0 And if you like it, give the band's new album, Atlas Vending, a listen.