So I saw Stars last night at Terminal 5 in New York City. This was my second time seeing Stars and my first time at Terminal 5. When we got there, the opening band was still on the stage. They were called Bell X1, and since I only heard them play a couple of songs I can’t really judge whether they were something I would want to listen to on a regular basis. The crowd seemed really into them though, so you may want to check them out.
Before Stars’ set they had guys putting red roses all over the stage. The flower theme went really well with the music that was being played, which was like sad piano music, reminding me of Erik Satie. If anyone knows what it was please let me know because it was lovely. When Stars finally took the stage I knew that I was in for a much different experience than when I saw Stars the first time in Montreal. When I saw them in Montreal it was this secret show at an art gallery in Old Montreal, in which there were only 150 tickets for sale. I managed to get one of them and was treated to one of the best shows I have ever seen. There was no stage, no crazy lighting, no banner, nothing fancy. Just the band and their instruments. Last night at Terminal 5 in NYC was a much different sort of party. Besides the thousands of people in attendance, this show was not just a concert, it was like a show on steroids. This show had huge projections and an insane light show, that went along to the music. It was pretty insane, I have to say. Especially for me who is used to shows with minimal lighting effects. The lighting was almost too bright at times, making it impossible to even see the band. But overall it was pretty amazing.
Lead singer Torquil Campbell got the crowd on his side right away when he said that the first Stars song ever written was in New York City on 58th and 10th. And before launching into “Window Bird” he said, “here’s to Hell’s Kitchen”. The love affair with the fans didn’t end there. The crowd went crazy when Torq had a few thoughts about how Barack Obama should be the new President of the United-States. And if that wasn’t enough, the band continuously threw bundles of red roses into the crowd throughout the set.
As for the set list, I couldn’t have asked for a better one. It was expected that they would play a lot of new songs, but they surprised me by playing more old songs than new ones. We were lucky enough to hear them play “Look Up”, “Elevator Love Letter”, “Your Ex-Lover is Dead”, “Ageless Beauty”, “Soft Revolution” and “Reunion”. For the encore they played “Take Me To The Riot” and then went back to the old stuff, finishing off the night with “One More Night”, “Calendar Girl” and “Heart”. I was more than happy with this set list, a tribute to the Stars fans who have been there since the beginning. They also played two songs off of their new EP, entitled Sad Robots. Before playing these songs, Torq said that you could either buy the album here, buy it online or steal it off of your friends. He said he didn’t care how you got it as long as you listened to it. It’s nice to hear bands that care more about people hearing their music than hearing about how much money they made.
In the end it was an excellent set, by an amazing band, at a pretty mediocre venue. Terminal 5 is far from my favourite venue, but it didn’t ruin my night. Any night with Stars is a night to remember.
Stars – 14 Forever (from Sad Robots EP)
Stars – Undertow (from Sad Robots EP)
Until next week…
-The Middle Distance Runner