Stars at Scala
This latest European tour marks the band’s 15-year anniversary. Their career has included eight successful studio albums and multiple nominations at Canada’s Juno and Polaris music awards – sure recognition of their place as one of the country’s most popular bands. Stars’ popularity extends across the Atlantic – appearing at London’s King’s Cross venue Scala, the band was met by an enthusiastic crowd, who were keen to welcome them back.
With characteristic exuberance, the band performed a number of tracks from the new album, including the disco-inspired From the Night and the serendipitous sounding Turn It Up, as well as old crowd-pleasers Elevator Love Letter and Take Me to the Riot.
In performance, the band exhibits a rather endearing familial vibe. Helmed by lead singers Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan, there’s quite a bit of onstage banter during songs and regular stories for the audience in between them. Though the jokes don’t always land – Campbell dedicated one track to “the Beckhams” to the relative bemusement of the crowd – the charmingly unscripted repartee juxtaposes well with their highly polished sound.
That cultivated sound is one Stars’ great strengths. Campbell and Millan are masterful storytellers, and the fluidity of the performance speaks to the band’s overall maturity. By now, they know who they are and can express it well. Ironically, their tendency to pair whimsical melodies with irreverent lyrics often have them sounding like a far younger band.
An interesting feature of Stars is the lack of earnestness to their music. Given their propensity for pessimism, perhaps even fatalism, in the lyrics, their light melodies may have you wondering whether Campbell and Millan really believe what they’re singing. However, while such discord may be distracting at times, at others it lends itself to truly excellent tracks, such as the catchy yet haunting Dead Hearts, which left the audience spellbound.
For further information about Stars and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Dead Hearts here: