Tag Archives: Stars


Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Stars on 11/18

November 14th, 2017


Thanks to their recently released ninth studio album, Montreal rock outfit Stars are back in New York City this week to play Rough Trade NYC on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. All three dates are already sold out, but The House List is giving away two tickets to Saturday’s show. Don’t have any of your own and still want to go? Try to Grow a Pair. It’s easy. Just fill out the form below, making sure to include your full name, email address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Stars, 11/18) and a brief message explaining your favorite song on There Is No Love in Fluorescent Light. Eddie Bruiser, a fan of Canadian rock in general, will notify the winner by Friday.

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Metric Play Intimate Hometown Show at Music Hall of Williamsburg

November 30th, 2016

Metric – Music Hall of Williamsburg – November 29, 2016

Before the 21st century, a musical collective out of Toronto formed by the name of Broken Social Scene and spawned such acts as Feist, Stars and Metric. The environment was a supportive one, nurturing a space where each band could thrive. The founding duo of Metric, Emily Haines and James Shaw, moved to New York City in the late ’90s and recorded early demos that would provide material for their first studio album. Fast-forward a decade and some change, the indie-rock band released a sixth studio album, Pagans in Vegas, last fall. And last night they returned to Brooklyn for a sold-out Music Hall of Williamsburg show as part of the Steve Madden Music series.

Fashioning a black cap, the lead singer took center stage kicking off the evening with a rousing rendition of “Speed the Collapse,” followed by the up-tempo “Youth Without Youth” as guitarist Ward added Auto-Tuned choruses. Haines had a few wardrobe changes, with the most notable being a luminescent cape that glowed against the black lights. (Added kudos to the lighting tech for her mastery of the syncopation of pulsating white shocks to several songs.) For crowd favorite “Dead Disco,” Haines turned up the showmanship, thrusting her fist and engaging the crowd from right to left. Bassist Joshua Winstead drove in the throbbing introduction to “Front Row,” as Haines took over with her melodic chants of “Burned out stars they shine so bright.”

The frontwoman noted that it was a hometown show for the band and great to “rekindle memories of North 6th.” A lot has changed since Haines and Ward moved here and shared a Williamsburg loft with soon-to-be members of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Liars and TV on the Radio. As the singer stripped down “Combat Baby” to a shortened a cappella interlude, I couldn’t help but relate the lyrics to a recent presidential candidate’s resilience. Following up that with “Gold Guns Girls” seemed to emphasize the formation further with Haines donning a guitar to jam with Winstead and Shaw, who closed out the song with an electrifying solo. The evening came to a close with singer and guitarist paired for a stripped-down “Gimme Sympathy,” before Winstead and drummer Joules Scott-Key rejoined the band for the finale, “Breathing Underwater.” —Sharlene Chiu


Stars and Geographer Charm a Sold-Out Bowery Ballroom

October 6th, 2015

Stars/Geographer – The Bowery Ballroom – October 5, 2015

Two of the most charming acts around these days played to a crowd full of beaming faces last night at The Bowery Ballroom. Stars and Geographer are touring North America together this fall as one big dose of feverish pop goodness. Geographer began the night with some crowd favorites, including “Life of Crime,” “I’m Ready,” “Kites” and a vibrant rendition of Arthur Russell’s “This Is How We Walk on the Moon.” By throwing in live saxophone here and there, Mike Deni and his band amped up their free-spirited music, and the accents of an electric cello made the set more whimsical.

The disco ball lowered for Stars’ set, and bright neon lights filled the stage as they launched into one of their earliest hits, “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead.” The Canadian band has eight full-length albums and a decade of making music together, and their charming-yet-fatalistic lyrics are etched in the collective consciousness of their steadfast fan base. Throughout their performance, Stars relied on the audience to sing the choruses, visibly feeding off the crowd’s energy, and lead singers Amy Millan and Torq Campbell repeatedly reached out to touch fans in the front row.

Campbell went so far as to jump into the arms of an extra-zealous fan. The band doled out some early favorites from their discography, including campfire versions of “Elevator Love Letter” and “Today Will Be Better, I Swear.” Campbell waxed poetic between songs about vulnerability, love and the inevitability of death, and he beckoned the audience to “put your hands up because everybody dies.” After their set was over, Stars came back onstage for a short encore and finished the night with the supremely melancholic ballad “Dead Hearts.” Last night’s sold-out house proved that Stars haven’t lost their sparkle. To the contrary, their fans are as devoted as ever. —Schuyler Rooth | @SchuylerSpeak

(Stars and Geographer play Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight.)


Stars – Music Hall of Williamsburg – March 8, 2013

March 11th, 2013

Photos courtesy of Mike Benigno | mikebenigno.wordpress.com


Stars Shine Bright at Webster Hall

September 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


EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Metric Unplugged at the Bowery Hotel

June 21st, 2012

Mere hours after unveiling tunes off their just-released fifth album, Synthetica, for a horde of adoring fans inside the cozy Music Hall of Williamsburg, Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw of Metric invited us into a posh suite at NYC’s Bowery Hotel to tape a performance for The Bowery Presents Live channel on YouTube, which posts awesome sessions like this one every week (see them all here).

At the hotel, the duo stripped away the electric throb of their new single, “Youth Without Youth,” down to two-part harmonies, acoustic guitar and harmonica (!). All that remained from the original was a spare, digital beat, saddled up through Shaw’s iPhone.

After performing, the duo talked about their origins in NYC and Brooklyn, hanging with members of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Stars and TV on the Radio, and how NYC helped shape the sound of Synthetica. Watch the interview here.

Metric returns to town September 23 at Radio City Music Hall. Tickets are still available.


Stars – Music Hall of Williamsburg – October 11, 2011

October 12th, 2011

Photos courtesy of Mike Benigno | www.mikebenigno.wordpress.com


Stars – Terminal 5 – September 24, 2010

September 27th, 2010

Stars - Terminal 5 - September 24, 2010

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com


Five Questions with…Amy Millan

November 4th, 2009
Amy Millan

(Photo: Courtesy Arts & Crafts/Finn O’Hara)

Amy Millan is a singer and guitarist best known for her work with the bands Broken Social Scene and Stars. But she’s also plenty accomplished on her own. Her first album, the roots-rock-filled Honey from the Tombs, came out in 2006. And she released her second solo effort, the spare Masters of the Burial, in September. As is usually the case, an accompanying tour has followed, which brings her to Mercury Lounge tomorrow night. But we wanted to hear what she had to say before then, and Millan—who claims her biggest nonmusical talent is “making soup”—was nice enough to answer Five Questions for The House List.

What’s the best part of playing New York City?
The first time I came to New York many years ago, I knew its reputation as being rude. I found it to be the opposite. It’s extremely friendly compared to say, Toronto. People don’t live in fear, so it’s easy to have random chats about random topics with strangers, if you aren’t an asshole.

What’s your favorite place in New York City to hang out? And do you ever feel like you could live here?
Angel’s Share, Central Park, Babbo to name a few. If I ever become a millionaire, I will definitely get a flat and spend more time there.

Do you have to be depressed to write a sad song? Do you have to be in love to write a love song? Is a song better when it really happened to you?
There is a current of all emotion that you can dip your fingers into at any time if you wish to. There is a world sadness that is ever-present. So no, I don’t find I need to feel depressed to write a sad song. As with the last question, love is everywhere. Even in the gutter. It’s all happening to me. Even if it’s my reaction to someone else’s story, it’s still being interpreted by my feelings.

Your after-party is at Hi-Fi, the Avenue A bar known for its endless jukebox, and The House List gives you a buck. Which three songs are you playing?
“Lovely Day” by Bill Withers, “Only You Babe” by Curtis Mayfield and “The Whole World” by OutKast.

It’s 4 a.m. and last call has come and gone. What’s your next move?
Well if for some insane, drug-related reason I was not already in bed, then out the guitars would come and we would sing until the sun came up. —R. Zizmor