A five-year reunion with STARS

STARS made their triumphant return to Starlight Social Club

Photo by Will Huang
Photo by Will Huang

On October 18, STARS made their triumphant return to Starlight Social Club after a five-year absence and brought energy unseen from previous shows.

Coming out after the soothing and ethereal opening band, Seoul, STARS began their set by voicing their thoughts on the then upcoming election to an amused crowd. Many dedicated fans expected nothing less given the band’s history of vocal political stances.

“Welcome to the first official Harper going away party,” exclaimed STARS frontman Torquil Campbell, who took no time in slamming the outgoing prime minister.

The band used Laureen Harper as a segue into “Your Ex-Lover is Dead” while Campbell donned a “Stop Harper” tee, which garnered a roaring response from the audience.

STARS transformed the energy in the intimate venue by injecting the audience with heavy drums, bright lights and powerful vocals — which commanded attention and captivated the audience.

As the audience was swept out from perimeter tables and onto their feet, the stage got closer than ever as onlookers beamed at the return of the beloved band. The crowd remained transfixed on the duality of vocals as Campbell’s powerful voice beamed in and out of Amy Millan’s euphoric vocals.

“Unlike some concerts I’ve been to, STARS fans for some reason are very proactive and participatory,” said Patrick McGee, drummer for STARS.

The excitement built up to an enthralling performance of “No One Is Lost,” the lead single off their latest record of the same name.

Speaking to the band’s career and commitment to staying creative, McGee mentioned, “When you’re living in the [music] world, you don’t want to drop the ball — and it’s totally inspiring.” STARS definitely did not drop the ball as “No One Is Lost” proved to liven up many in the audience who waited the entire night to hear the track performed live.

“Friends and business can become abrasive, and we wanted to remain friends [with Arts & Crafts],” McGee commented when asked about leaving Arts & Crafts and creating their own record label Soft Revolution Records.

The sounds off No One Is Lost, are said to reflect both upon the studio atmosphere where it was conceived and a gay discothèque nearby whose music moved the album to have a more electronic sound.

STARS took the stage one last time for an encore performance of their hit single, “Dead Hearts.” The audience fell into a trance as they were gently brought down into the conclusion of the night. Anticipating a walk home in below zero temperatures, couples took this final opportunity to warm up with scattered slow dances.

“[Starlight] is such a classic venue, it was a great way to end this leg of our tour. [Tonight] sort of feels like the end of the tour, and that’s just a cherry on top,” said McGee.

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