Compared to Metz‘s Larimer Lounge gig last November, Tuesday’s Hi-Dive show was huge. Maybe not so much in volume and intensity, but certainly in fan fervor. Where the Larimer crowd was surprisingly small and somewhat tame, the Hi-Dive crowd was packed-in, pushing, sweating — even body-surfing (and risking collision with the small venue’s light rigs).
Metz is led by the gregarious, charismatic and ultimately minimalist guitarist Alex Edkins and anchored by the drum-bass duo of Hayden Menzies and Chris Slorach (respectively). The band is beginning to reap the benefits of both playing a show every single night (literally for the last months), and promoting a completely kick ass album. Unfortunately, Metz is also riding dangerously close to the back of its own wave — aging, semi-repetitive material makes for jaded and tired crowds, historically. The Hi-Dive show, though, exemplified the trio’s legitimacy.
For less than an hour, Metz played just about every song the band knows, punctuated only by Edkins’ quick sips from a PBR tallboy and some minimal, out of breath banter with the crowd. From the launch of the set with “Knife In the Water” to its close with the brilliant “The Mule,” Metz never took a break. Edkins would grab a sip of his beer, yelp out a few lines (if that) about the next tune, and then they would proceed to pounding out weighted notes.
“Sad Pricks” was an angry manifesto. “Wasted” and “Get Off,” as Edkins proclaimed, were hedonistic tributes to drunken nights. A stretched-out version of “Negative Space” was a perfect, dirge-y segue to “Headache,” which eventually led to the simple clarity of “The Mule.” By the time they left the stage, it seemed the crowd was nearly as wrung out as the band.
Nathan Iverson is a Denver photographer and regular contributor to Reverb.