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Photo: Mike Irizarry

Metz
Barboza, Seattle, WA
16 & 17 June 2016
By: Dave Wexler

>>>View more photos from the shows, by Mike Irizarry


Recently I heard Metz described as “Concussion Rock” and I don’t think I could describe their music any more accurate than that, they will simply knock you out. To see them live is another thing, it’s complete destructive chaos, a musical battlefield. Not on tour, but simply in Seattle for a wedding, Metz had nothing to promote or sell to us except an ass-kicking to the brain. The battle was fought on 2 consecutive nights at Capitol Hill’s Barboza to packed & sweaty crowds.  

On Thursday the evening was kicked off in the teeth with “Acetate,” the lead off track from their most recent effort ‘Metz II’.  The stage in Barboza very low to the ground, forgoing any barrier between band and audience.  With my spot being 10 inches away of frontman/guitarist Alex Edkins the energy coming off him was as visible as it was audible.

Quickly shifting between their 2 albums, the crowd ate it up, but in typical Seattle fashion, it took 5 songs for the bodies to slam into each other.  The song that did the trick was the 2016 stand-alone single, “Eraser,” a relentless ripper that woke the crowd from it’s standing slumber and turned it into a hurricane of sweat & screams.  

Even though I had my earplugs in, being at a Metz show it’s almost irrelevant. Hayden Menzies is one of the most aggressive drummers I have ever heard/seen and Chris Slorach with his dirty bass riffs thrashing about, they are playing with the volume way past 11.  The heavy hitters kept coming with “Wait In Line,” “Dirty Shirt,” and every other song in the setlist because Metz doesn’t do soft.

Towards the end of the night after some insane display of destruction via 3-4 minute songs I thought Metz may just have shown me all they could.  Was I wrong!  During the final song of the night, “Wet Blanket,” I thought Alex was going to rip into two and explode as he put his guitar down and grabbed the mic and screamed violently into it.  He jerked around the stage, half hanging from the fire sprinkler pipe, then into the crowd, tangling the mic cord with nearly everything in his path.

Friday night was no different, completely sold out, and a few Sub Pop legends in the audience (Hi Mark Arm!).  The setlist was nearly the same, just different order, which leads to a different energy.  The onslaught of bodies crashing was earlier but similar to the previous night, Eraser still set everyone off HARD.  

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Photo: Mike Irizarry

 

The band was somehow giving it all AND more tonight, maybe because the jet lag wore off, maybe just because they are complete animals. The guys in Metz are very vocal about loving Seattle, partly because they are a Sub Pop band, partly because they are influenced by some of the bands that came out Seattle 25 years ago.  

The highlight of Friday night was “Kicking A Can Of Worms,” it was great on Thursday but they blew it out of the water on Friday, it was raw, drawn out with jamming and just explosive.  The night ended with another burner of “Wet Blanket” with Alex pouring it all in , Hayden kicking that beat while Chris played the part of the Thresher shark in his ocean of bass.

Once Again, in a few spastic motions across the stage, Alex found himself standing on Hayden’s kick drum only to fall off.  Somewhere between that and picking his guitar back up to finish the song Alex had a fresh stream of blood running down is face.

The set ended with an explosion , a thunderous cheer, and a sweaty happy Seattle crowd.  This band is the personification of so much that is good about live music, loud music & the perseverance of punk.  

Special thanks goes out to guest photographer Mike Irizarry for the amazing shots! Check out more from Mike on Instagram.