Front Row

Metz: NPR Front Row

It was a cool, clear night in Austin, Texas, as the 2013 South by Southwest music festival was nearing its end. Bassist Chris Slorach, guitarist Alex Edkins and drummer Hayden Menzies — three affable guys from Canada who make up the band Metz — strode onto the stage at Bar 96 for Filter Magazine's Dr. Martens Showcase and unleashed a torrent of hardcore guitar noise and brutal drumming that, in an instant, reconfigured everyone's night. For 20 minutes, the group pummeled an ecstatic audience with rage-filled rock, thrashing through a half-dozen songs from Metz's self-titled 2012 debut.

This was the last of five performances Metz gave at this year's SXSW, and by some accounts the tamest. But chalk that up to Edkins, who, after the first song, asked the audience to enjoy the show but "chill out." During at least one earlier performance, several people in the mosh pit — a common site at Metz shows — suffered bloody noses and lips, and one fan who dove off the stage slammed into a wooden post, splitting the skin on his forehead. But that didn't stop him from climbing back to his feet and dancing through the rest of the set.

Metz closed its final show with its most ruthless performance of the night: a heart-pounding version of "Wet Blanket," captured here in this Front Row video.


Producer: Saidah Blount, Mito Habe-Evans, Robin Hilton, Amy Schriefer; Assistant Producer: Denise DeBelius; Editor: Gabriella Garcia-Pardo; Audio: Suraya Mohamed, Kevin Wait; Videographers: Christopher Farber, A.J. Wilhelm; Special Thanks to: Bar 96, Filter Magazine, South By Southwest; Executive Producers: Anya Grundmann, Keith Jenkins

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