It was a Friday night, very little English was spoken, and everybody danced. These are a few important preliminary facts about Metronomy‘s show at Irving Plaza on Friday night. The wonky pop stars from England were exceptional throughout their hour-long set, much to the delight of the pop-and-locking crowd. Well, at least I was locking and/or popping.
Opener Friends got the crowd in an appropriately funky mood. Blogosphere-approved and relatively young, the Brooklyn band possessed tightness beyond its years. Frontwoman Samantha Urbani strutted, climbed a stack of PA speakers, tightroped the stage barrier and offered swigs from her bottle of Jameson. Although the Dance Gods did not seem to bare their rhinestoned presence until Metronomy took the stage, Friends certainly did its part in fostering the mood-to-groove.
The crowd was largely European, making me feel unduly sophisticated. But that’s exactly what Metronomy’s brand of off-kilter synthpop is. Each melodically addictive song, mostly drawn from last year’s The English Riviera, kept the movement on the floor going. Their look was as precise as their performances, making the idea of geek-chic seem suddenly not so passé. Pinned on their lapels were white orbs that flashed in rhythm to the songs, a Metronomy staple that contributed to the whole nerds-from-space vibe. Eminently catchy singles from the band’s sophomore release, Nights Out, like “Heartbreaker,” “Radio Ladio” and “A Thing For Me,” brought the house down. Metronomy even dug out “You Could Easily Have Me” from its first release, Pip Paine (Pay The £5000 You Owe).
This was the band’s second night in a row at Irving, the previous night added when the first-announced show quickly sold out. Band-leader Joseph Mount was sure to acknowledge Friday’s crowd as distinguished from the “Johnny-come-latelys” who failed to acquire tickets in a timely manner, as true fans should, of course. Devotees or not, it’s certain that the crowd was barely sated by the end of the encore.
Photos by Adela Loconte