Just before playing commercial breakout “Shake It” at the end of Metro Station’s ten song set at New York’s Nokia Theatre two days before Halloween, Trace Cyrus shouted “Welcome to the first Metro Station headline tour ever!” to the crowd of eager teenagers, less than a week into the band’s fall tour “Disco Balls and Blow Up Dolls,”
From the New York stage, Cyrus — brother of Miley and son of Billy Ray — seemed to clearly relish the success the group has reached in the past year. Metro Station played a small room at lower Manhattan’s Knitting Factory just about a year ago and now, via a supportive MySpace fanbase, their name was in lights at Times Square’s Nokia Theatre.
Upon playing fan favorite “Seventeen Forever,” one of the set’s early highlights, Cyrus proudly announced a new video for the song. Next, the guys were joined by a special guest Martin Johnson, lead singer of Boys Like Girls, who had just wrapped the “Soundtrack of Your Summer” tour with Metro Station.
Danceable synth ballad “Kelsey” particularly connected with the audience, especially after Cyrus dedicated it to all the girls. Mason Musso, Metro Station’s other co-vocalist, sang most of the song before opening up the chorus to the audience.
After the show, Cyrus explained the double singer dynamic. “Playing a show,” he tells Billboard.com. “You’re exhausted, and having another singer when jumping around on stage and going wild, you definitely get out of breath. It’s like Outkast on the stage, you get two guys instead of one.”
Introducing the next selection from the Nokia stage, Cyrus announced, “this next song isn’t even on our record, but you can still f*cking dance to it.” And the crowd did just that.
“Comin’ Around,” an older tune, kept the spirited crowd moving, followed by “Tell Me What To Do,” an infectious, upbeat rendition that inspired the fans to clap along the whole way through as Trace rapped out the verses.
The shiny disco balls casting sparkling light on four blow-up dolls was a fitting backdrop as Trace’s commented, “Let’s turn this whole place into a dance club” and the crowd’s hands went up for “Wish You Were Older.” “Shake It,” which followed, led to Trace’s taking off his shirt. The band returned for a final encore of the energetic “Control.”
The spectacle here was watching Cyrus leap on and off the platforms with his mop of long hair whipping in his face. It was evident from the screaming and the massive amounts of Metro Station merch in the crowd that the band has really found an audience.
Cyrus and Musso met opening act Tyga while recording their album over a year ago and quickly became fans of his music. Tyga’s New york set, however, was underwhelming because sound mix was off; the heavy bass detracted from the vocals. Nevertheless, there were a few highlights. As expected, near the end of his set Tyga encouraged everyone to put one finger in the air and “twist it all up” during his Hot 100 hit “Coconut Juice.”
The White Tie Affair’s single “Candle (Sick and Tired)” was the strongest cut of their set with clever guitar effects and a particularly fun and unexpected cover of Lil Wayne’s “Got Money,” which they surprisingly pulled off well. New Jersey band Cash Cash began the evening with “Party In Your Bedroom” and “Breakout.”