Stars pumps up the crowd at The Trocadero (photos, review, setlist)


All photos by Michelle Montgomery |

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
The North
We Don’t Want Your Body
Do You Want To Die Together?
Soft Revolution
The Loose Ends Will Make Knots
Life Effect
Midnight Coward
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
The 400



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5 Responses to “Stars pumps up the crowd at The Trocadero (photos, review, setlist)”

  1. Marrick

    Wow, you must have been at a different gig to me. The sound was awful, vocals drowned out by overpowering bass and synth. This whole gig had a feel of unpreparedness about it – maybe as the tour progresses that’ll change. Campbell and Millan’s solo numbers were good, and the newer ‘The North’ material sounded better than the older stuff, which I found truly disappointing, as a long time fan.

    Maybe I’m just getting old.

  2. Staci Coombs

    It was my first Stars show, and while I’m happy I went and had a great time, I too thought the vocals were overshadowed by the bass. I felt like I was straining to hear Amy’s voice.

    I look forward to seeing them again sometime, as there are many songs I still want to hear them play live.

    Favorite part of the show? When Torquil thanked the fans for investing in their art…super awesome.

  3. Allison Berger

    I can’t deny that the sound wasn’t that great- but pretty much every show at the Troc has that weird muffled audio, no?

    I’m sorry you were disappointed by their old tracks. I thought Soft Revolution and One More Night were just lovely.

  4. Allison Berger

    re: Torquil- totally. He’s such a passionate and grateful creature.

  5. Jack

    It’s quite possibly the Trocadero sound system alright. I got frisked going into a _STARS_ gig for crying out loud – seems they’re more interested in profiting from the bar than putting on great shows 🙂

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