Monday, October 24, 2005

If you've got Death Cab tickets tonight... happy. Last night's show was a superior live rock show in every facet.

BUT! Do yourself a favor and get there early enough to see Montreal's Stars perform.

In truth, if all you Monday people are like the Sunday people, then no worries. The place was jam packed at the beginning of Stars' set and by the end, the crowd was offering the band a raucous show of approval. Seriously. This is a much hyped band that earned every accolade last night--playing the hell out of the songs they recorded.

By means of comparison, here are just a few ways--the little things that make a big difference mostly--in which Stars managed to provide a live show superior to say...another much-hyped indie band we talked about last week.

  1. They knew how their songs began.
  2. They knew how to play their songs so that tempos didn't sag.
  3. They knew how to sing into microphones so that the vocals were intelligible.
  4. They knew how to end their songs.
  5. They knew how to perform as if showmanship was something that mattered.
  6. They acted as if playing their own music meant something to them.
  7. They acted as if playing their own music was something they found to be enjoyable.

Again, you know, the little things.

Stars bring some captivating R&B flourishes to their already lovely indie-tinged pop. Their songwriting is Brill Building-pure, and I find them to be like a less cynical Beautiful South--but be warned, the male-female vocal interplay is probably 90% of the reason I make that visceral connection. But these guys are a generous band who play with real vigor and style and just seem to be having a hell of a lot of fun playing. Sunday night's crowd received them with tremendous enthusiasm. I was really impressed when, during a quieter song, the packed house listened with total appreciation--I didn't hear a single side-conversation (whereas, by the epicenter of last week's CYHSY show, that audience had basically turned to one another for entertainment), the audience just transfixed.

These guys are a great band and a terrific complement to Death Cab. So, I urge you, don't sleep on them. Get to 9:30 early and I promise you will not regret it.


A Unique Alias said...

The trumpet fit surprisingly well, as well. Honestly, I think I may have enjoyed Stars more than DCFC.

jordan said...


despite not being sold on the new album yet, i did have a wonderful time at the (first) new york show, what was introduced by youth group, who were pretty good, who also joined in on the final "so come on"'s of transatlanticism during the encore

it was youth group's last night with death cab; stars started their tour with death cab at the second new york show

Ryan said...

yeah, i will be there tonight. more so to see the stars than DCFC (saw them twice on their last tour). looking forward to it.

However, I don't think it is fair to compair them to CYHSY when it comes to live experience. I mean, the Stars are on their 3rd album and have been playing together for much longer than CYHSY. so of course they are going to be a bit more experienced. not to mention they are not even close in the same sound.

just sayin

Erica said...

thank you again for posting about the onsale, I went last night and really enjoyed it. Esp the "I'll Follow You Into the Dark" sing along during the encore.

PS: if you're looking for Stars merch, check out the way cool pillow case....novel idea definitely!

PK said...

Yeah, I agree with alias. DCFC is a great band, and put on a great show. To me, though, Ben's voice is the thing that's going to keep them from breaking out of the indie world into the true mainstream. Great on a record, but just not quite as convincing live. Other than that, I loved the show.

Stars, on the other hand, showed effortless, major-league talent - and enough quirky songwriting and mischievious energy to make sure that talent never gets into the hands of the unwashed. Which is definitely a good thing.

Joanna said...

Went to the show tonight. Stars make me happy to be a canuck. After seeing DCFC for the second time, I don't need to see them again. They didn't do much different from their Transatlanticism tour last year. Check out Raising the Fawn if you like Broken Social Scene's side projects. Sadly, the BSS show is sold out on Wednesday night. Their shows are the best.

Urban Pioneer said...

I could not agree more about Stars! Love this band LOVE LOVE LOVE them. I am mad that I missed the show but I will catch them next time.

Thanks for the review...