by Matt Kelchner
Chilly, cold air is not the only thing blowing down from our hockey loving neighbors to the North. Wednesday, two of Canada’s best musical exports, Stars and Hey Rosetta!, blew in for one night at Union Transfer. Both bands are riding on new albums this year as they trek around the country. No One Is Lost, the latest from headliners Stars, showcases the indie rock veterans taking a turn towards an 80s new wave influence. Wednesday night they weaved the upbeat, new dance jams with their older classics in such a way that left every fan walking out with a smile.
Hey Rosetta! have made a name for themselves for intertwining extra layers onto traditional rock songs. While it may be a new concept, Hey Rosetta! fully flesh out their songs on stage with an expansive band. The seven piece band features members on violin and cello while singer and bandleader Tim Baker switches between guitar and piano. Their latest, Second Sight, debuted #6 on the Canadian Albums Chart but is still waiting to be released here in the US. That did not stop the band from treating the crowd to a number of hits from the album, though.
“We’re from St John’s, Newfoundland,” Baker tells the crowd before getting into “Yer Spring”, “here’s a song about growing up there, drinking in the bushes.” Baker and company mixed older hits like this one with newer ones like “Harriet” and “Gold Teeth”. As they wrapped up their night and began breaking down their gear, Baker took time to chat with a few excited fans and even signed a few autographs.
More than likely for most fans of indie rock, there was at least one point in their life where a Stars song served as part of the soundtrack to their life. They have been pumping albums out since 2001 and Wednesday night served not just as a party for No One Is Lost, but also as celebration of their entire career together so far. New hits like “Trap Door” and “Are You OK?” were paired side by side with older cuts such as “Take Me To The Riot” and Backlines”. They reached as far back as “Going, Going, Gone” from 2001’s North.
The one-two combo of Amy Millian and Torquil Campbell serve as the co-lead singers for Stars and serve as much of the outlet for the energy on stage. The dynamic between the two on stage is unmistakable. Often during the night they were standing side by side, singing along. Other times they were leaning against each other. As good as the night was, these two were the king and queen of the indie pop prom on Wednesday night.
As the career spanning night came to end, Stars brought No One Is Lost back to the spotlight for the two song encore. “No Better Place” and “What Is To Be Done?” were the last chances for the strongly devoted fans to get their last dance moves and singalongs in with the Canadian band. No One Is Lost may be a step in a new direction for Stars, but they will always cherish the road and albums that got them where they are. If you need any proof of this, just take this show as an example.