Stars Shine Bright at Webster HallSeptember 24th, 2012
Stars – Webster Hall – September 22, 2012
For more than 10 years, Canadian indie-pop band Stars have been making sweet music on their own terms. From their early beginnings, the band’s members would rotate in and out of Broken Social Scene. For their 2007 release, In Our Bedroom After the War, Stars released the final cut online before the official release to deter any album leaks. Their next album, The Five Ghosts, was released on their own label. On Saturday night among a sold-out Webster Hall crowd, Stars shined ever so brightly with their latest release, The North, in their back pockets.
With the Pet Shop Boys’ “West End Girls” introducing the quintet to the stage, the electric keys opening “The Theory of Relativity” evoked the excesses of the ’80s. Amy Millan, dressed in a sparkling sheath, danced and sang to “Fixed,” from their previous album, The Five Ghosts, and then dedicated “Ageless Beauty” to a fan who was seeing Stars for the 22nd time. The crowd erupted for “We Don’t Want Your Body” and upped the ante for old favorite “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead,” as the audience sang along while one fan showered the stage with flowers.
Returning to the new album, the boy-girl vocal exchanges between Torquil Campbell and Milan really shone on “Do You Want to Die Together.” And Milan shimmied and shuffled to “Backlines.” Her saccharine vocals cooed a mellow, whispery delivery on the opening of “Lights Changing Colour.” The remainder of the evening was a stream of back-catalog favorites including “Dead Hearts,” “Elevator Love Letter,” “Midnight Coward” and “Take Me to the Riot” for all the Stars stalwarts. Campbell was the first to return to the stage for an encore of “The 400,” while Milan casually perched herself against the drums, singing backing vocals. Fittingly the opening lines, “You know that I’ll see you again / It’s just an hour or two by airplane” were the perfect ending for fans awaiting their next show. Earlier in the night Campbell spoke openly about how the fans were what made the concert and as long as they kept coming Stars would continue making music. Heck, they were already gearing up for a late show at Mercury Lounge. —Sharlene Chiu