All photos by Michelle Montgomery | MichelleMontgomeryPhotography.com
It’s safe to say that most Stars fans came to The Trocadero last night expecting a set of broken love ballads to sway with their partners to, but the Canadian indie pop band kicked off their North American tour with anything but. With a stage decorated with not one, but four (!) disco balls and a little 80’s Aretha Franklin to get the crowd pumped up, lead singers Amy Milan and Torquil Campbell danced onto the stage decked out in retro studded vests and denim blazers.
Picking through ten years of material, the 22-song set started out heavy on Stars latest release, The North, but paid homage to long time fans as well. After “Backlines,” Campbell was gracious to the crowd for being so “fucking genuine and beautiful.” Before playing “Personal” (which he called “the most depressing song ever written”) he said this would be the first time the band would perform the song in five years. While Stars had originally set the tone for the show to be one big dance party, Campbell and Milan indulged fans who wanted to get a little sentimental, focusing on themes like love, beauty, and youth. The ever-theatrical Campbell encouraged the crowd to grab their “cookies and juice” and “sit and enjoy” while the band played “Krush” from their 2001 EP, The Comeback.
Picking up speed, Stars got fists pumping with 2007’s “Take Me to The Riot” and the playful “Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It.” The band’s most well-known track, “Your Ex-Lover is Dead” from 2005’s “Set Yourself on Fire” rounded out the encore, and as Campbell dangled the mic into the crowd, the audience hung on to each word, singing along with great emotional candor.
Self-proclaimed “cinematic pop” quintet Milo Greene opened for Stars with similar spirits. Complete with breathy male / female harmonies, Milo Greene and their score-like songs were powerful and pretty with a twinge of folk (imagine Stars meets Explosions in the Sky meets Lord Huron). Their cover of Sufjan Stevens’ “Chicago” surprised the audience in the best way possible.
Theory of Relativity
A Song Is A Weapon
We Don’t Want Your Body
Do You Want To Die Together?
The Loose Ends Will Make Knots
What I’m Trying To Say
One More Night
Take Me To The Riot
Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It
My Favourite Book
Your Ex Lover is Dead
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