Since their Friday night show at Terminal 5 was not sold out, Stars kept their Sunday night performance at Littlefield a secret until the last minute, but word spread quickly, and last night the line to get into the venue continued well down the block.
Seeing Stars play such a small room is a treat. After quite a lengthy wait for the show to begin (the doors were at 8, but the start time was 9:45), the audience was eager to show their support - especially one fan who could hardly contain his excitement. Between nearly every song, he'd lavish some sort of praise on the band. ("I love you!" "You are beautiful!" "You guys blow my brains out!" and my favorite, "You're not REAL!") The crowd's energy helped fuel the band and elevated their performance.
"It's the city so nice, we had to play it twice," joked former New Yorker Torq Campbell when they finally walked on stage. "We're so happy people came out," he continued, then launched into an appropriate introduction for the evening, the slowly building song, "The Night Starts Here."
As per usual, the band scattered long-stemmed white roses and handfuls of petals throughout the crowd between songs - only this time, nearly everyone in the room got showered, not just the people crammed into the first few rows.
Though they seemed a bit tired, Stars played a solid show and creatively drew a handful of more obscure from their discography to reward the T5 attendees for coming out to another show. Initially, Campbell's vocals were way too low in the mix, but (finally) after the ninth song, an audience member yelled out, "Turn up the vocals!" and the sound technician quickly complied. (Yet another benefit of playing such a small space.)
As was the case at their recent T5 show, Stars played a generous 5-song encore, which included a Smiths cover ("This Charming Man") and some banter about global warming, bad vibes, and Amy Millan's pregnancy. After the third song, Campbell addressed the room. "Do we have time for a couple more or is that sufficient?" Upon receiving an enthusiastic response from the audience, he continued as the opening notes of the crowd pleaser "Your Ex-Lover is Dead" rang out. "You know... I'm going to keep playing music until the day when I ask that question and people are silent."
Before their final song, the overzealous fanboy made his way to the front and whispered something into Campbell's ear. "You're going to marry your girlfriend?" Campbell repeated into the mic. "She's a lucky woman. Fantastic. Give it up for this dude. He's been awesome all night. He's half naked, he's in love. What more do you want from this man?" It was a nice moment. Then, after a sarcastic segue about heartbreak and failed relationships ("This probably has nothing to do with you"), Stars concluded their intimate set with "Tonight."
The Night Starts Here
We Don't Want Your Body
Going Going Gone
What the Snowman Learned about Love
Take Me to the Riot
I Died so I Could Haunt You
This Charming Man (Smiths cover)
How Much More
Your Ex-Lover Is Dead