by Janelle Engle
Despite the impending end of winter storm, fans of the bands Stars and Milo Greene poured into the Trocadero in Chinatown for a show filled with emotion and ambiance The openers of the show were newcomer folk-pop Milo Greene with only one released album. They captivated the crowd with their harmonizing vocals that mirrored the headliners talent and charm. The band played quickly and left the crowd wanting more by switching instruments and vocals with ease during their perfectly choreographed show. They seemed like pros. By keeping a soothing sound and energy throughout the whole set, they were an enjoyable opener.
When going to see a band that have quite a few albums out (Stars released their sixth album The North just last year) who have done more than a fair share of shows and touring, there’s always the inevitable worrying question about egos, attitudes and generally not putting on a performance that everybody in the crowd can enjoy, whether a new or old fan. Luckily, Stars did not disappoint their eager audience with neither their talent nor the lead singers Torquil Campbell’s ability to captivate the stage and speak to an entire roomful of people as he was having a conversation directly with one.
With the stage lined with disco balls and a catchy opener, from the start of the show Stars and their wardrobe had our attention with an immediate command from Campbell to “ check out the fucking suit!” of drummer Patrick McGee. The suit in question was an eye catching blue number with a funky hat to boot. In fact, the whole band had a wardrobe fit for a 90s dance party. Needless to say, even between the songs, Stars kept us entertained by commenting on everything from the closure of the lead singers favorite vegan place to the historic atmosphere of the Trocadero. “I feel the spirits of all the old burlesque dancers here,” giggled Amy Millan before launching into another beautiful vocal performance with the ease of an experience performer.
Before going into the song “Personal,” Campbell, in a cheerful voice said, “This is the most depressing song I’ve ever written. I hope you enjoy it.” This seemed to be the theme of the setlist, a carefully crafted mixture of melancholy and cheerful upbeat tunes. Yet they made sure things weren’t so familiar by mentioning they added songs they haven’t played in five years and a few they had never played live before such as “Krush” and “Life Effect”. The band threw in a new fun number that made sure you knew Stars still had stories to tell and would be releasing new music shortly. The crowd was energetic through both the old and new tunes, even during the soft soulful sounds, joining in with encouraging claps and hoots that the band stated “ felt genuine.” The sincere gratitude was mirrored as the band issued a heartfelt thank you to the crowd and everyone who has support them or the music.
With the last note, they ended flawlessly by saying “ We’re stars, you’re stars. Thanks for listening. “