Metric at KJEE’s Winter Round-Up at the Arlington Theatre.

Paul Wellman

Metric at KJEE’s Winter Round-Up at the Arlington Theatre.

KJEE’s Winter Round-Up at the Arlington Theatre

Metric Proved a Powerful Closer on Monday, December 10

When Metric walked off the Arlington Theatre’s stage after storming through an extended version of “Dead Disco,” the crowd thought the band was just taking a break. They’d only played eight songs, well under co-headliner Tegan and Sara’s 14-track set. But after a triumphant return to stage with “Gold Guns Girls,” their brevity was forgiven. Simply put, Metric crushed, destroyed, rocked. Insert your own adjective here, they probably defined it. And that’s pretty much all they did — aside from a few short shout-outs to the enthusiastic Santa Barbara crowd, they took the stage, blew the roof off, and walked out.

Co-headliners Tegan and Sara, perhaps the best attended of the night’s four acts, played a full set that stuck largely to their strongest songs from past albums and a scattering of material from their upcoming album, Heartthrob. They finished with their new single “Closer,” but it was oldies like “Walking with a Ghost” and “Nineteen” that ultimately carried the duo through their solid, fulfilling performance.

Second openers Youngblood Hawke’s youthful exuberance wasn’t quite enough to pull their rather generic tunes — usually polished and catchy on the radio — out of the synth-pop-mush-zone onstage. While their radio hit “We Come Running” got a great response, their work lacks both Metric’s instrumental power and the emotional depth of Tegan and Sara’s or Metric’s songwriting. Still, you couldn’t knock Youngblood’s enthusiasm — something that could also be said of the evening’s first band, Santa Barbara-based Beware of Darkness, who delivered a surprisingly edgy and energetic set. (Think the Black Keys at their angriest and most distorted.) What Beware lacked in professional polish and name-recognition they made up for with stage presence, bloody noses, and some of the meanest guitar riffs of the night.

Tegan and Sara’s Setlist:

1. “I’m Not Your Hero”

2. “Back In Your Head”

3. “The Con”

4. “Walking with a Ghost”

5. “Hell”

6. “So Jealous”

7. “Where Does The Good Go?”

8. “Now I’m All Messed Up”

9. “Nineteen”

10. “Call It Off”

11. “Living Room”

12. “Alligator”

13. “Feel It in My Bones”

14. “Closer”

Metric’s Setlist:

1. “Artificial Nocturne”

2. “Youth without Youth “

3. “Speed the Collapse”

4. “Dreams So Real”

5. “Help I’m Alive”

6. “Synthetica”

7. “Breathing Under Water”

8. “Dead Disco”

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