words and photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
Montreal's Stars and Virginia's Wild Nothing are the latest casualties of the hit or miss sound at Terminal 5. To be fair, Stars are just as culpable for the uneven show Friday night (9/24), especially considering their familiarity with the venue (they played there in 2008).
If you're going to play T5 then you need to play as many upbeat songs as possible. After starting well, Stars' first misstep was bringing out a bench to perform one of their fastest numbers, "Ageless Beauty", stripped down. Way down. The stripped down versions should be saved for intimate shows (like the one happening at Littlefield TONIGHT, Sunday, 9/26). Any momentum built to that point was gone and didn't return until a singalong of "Your Ex-Lover is Dead" which was the highlight of the show.
That was followed by a confusing and rambling pre-encore lecture about the use of the military, coming out over the PA. Then Amy Millan came out alone to start the 5-song encore with "Celebration Guns." Songs like "Big Fight" and "Going, Going, Gone" never made it into the 23-song set which was dissapointing since the dynamic between the soft-around the edges Millan and the ever-intense, way-over-the-top Torq Campbell is the centerpiece for Stars. They closed the show with "Changes". A picture of the full setlist is below.
Stars are a good band and spent a good part of the night thanking the appreciative crowd, tossing roses and petals into the crowd. Campbell reminded everyone that they were a New York band first. Hopefully on their subsequent trips "home" they opt for playing the cozier Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg on consecutive nights.
Wild Nothing opened the show, delivering a solid and business-like performance, though it was to a one-third capacity crowd in the echoey venue. More dates, including Littlefield tonight, HERE. More pictures and the setlist from the Terminal 5 show are below...