Our Man in Miami: The Night Metric Made Scope the Measure of All Art Basel Pleasure

She’s a hard-charging kitten with a whip smart kick; she’s wile-eyed and sly—the femme fatale exemplified. And many a man would give many a thing to have her break his heart. She’s got riot grrrl swagger, starlet era grace, and a face that holds truth to be self-evident—or else. She’s cool, she’s keen, and she fronts a real mean team (and yes that’s a direct reference to one of the greatest songs ever). She is Emily Haines, of the band named Metric, and together they are the pitch perfect measure of 21st century rock. So when the fearsome foursome took the stage at Scope in the middle of a mad Miami Art Week, the wow was beyond palpable.

Put on in conjunction with VH1 as part of their You Oughta Know series and a little assist from the good folks at Fiat, Metric’s Scope Miami Art Fair stand was another one of the many, many pleasures that pop up during what’s commonly called Basel. It was also one of the most sublime. And when you’ve got a week of sonic wonders—which included everyone from Scott Weiland to Daniel Johnston—that’s saying something indeed. Then again, when you’re talking about Emily Haines, saying something is pretty much a given, as is the fact that the something said will be slathered in superlatives each and every time. Miami had been abuzz about Metric’s Scope showing long before Basel, and the consensus was “can’t wait” all the way.

Yes, the band had floored The Fillmore Gleason just a few months back; and yes, everybody and their best friend’s brother seemed to be at that show. If anything though, that only increased the anticipation. See, contrary to superstition, there’s no such thing as too much of a great good thing—especially when that great good thing can rock the wind right outta you. So it was no surprise that an over-capacity crowd thronged to Scope for the force of nature that is Metric, or that the crowd wowed every moment of the storming.

Beneath the sun-drenched days and star-filled nights, Miami is at heart a city of extreme weather, and Miamians dig their storms. So too do the thousands upon thousands who descend upon our town for Hurricane Basel, and whose descending instantly makes them honorary citizens of what, for one wild week, becomes scene of the Greatest Culture Storm on Earth. As every Miamian knows, the best place to be when the storm blows is smack in the center of its eye. It was there, at Scope, at the foot of the stage in front of the Category 4 force Emily Haines, that Metric proved you don’t need no stinking barometer to know when you’re fully blown away. 

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