Out to a Great Concert : Stars

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Not only did we get to see a great concert last Wednesday, but this concert was held outdoors on a beautiful evening and happened to be free! The band was Stars and the show was one of the many sponsored events offered by the city in honour of Toronto hosting the 2015 Pan Am Games.

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I’ve liked Stars’ music for a long time but had never had the chance to see them play live, so when I saw them on the list of performers that would be gracing the stage set up in the square in front of City Hall, I did a little happy dance and made plans to be there.

Nick isn’t as familiar with Stars’ music and I am, but he trusts my tastes so was happy to come along. We arrived a bit early so had some time to kill …

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There’s this statue of Winston Churchill to the west of City Hall. Created in 1977 by Croatian sculptor Oscar Nemon, it was cast from the same mold as one that stands at the British House of Commons.

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And onto the concert …

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I absolutely love the female lead Amy Millan’s voice and the perfect harmonies sung by her and co-vocalist here Torquil Campbell. (Amy, Feist and Emily Haines used to sing together in Broken Social Scene.)

The members grew up in Toronto and some of them first met in high school here. The band formed in 1999, and moved to Montreal shortly after. In the 15+ years they’ve been together, they’ve toured extensively and have recently released their 7th studio album. If you’d like you can read their wiki page here, but a better read in my opinion is this recent entertaining interview with Amy and Torquil in NOW Magazine.

This song, Your Ex-Lover is Dead, is my favourite song of theirs, and since they have so much material I didn’t expect to hear it that night. But then, I heard those opening notes and I pretty near melted right there.

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The show was awesome — an example of what can happen when musicians meet at a young age and stick together for a long time.

When asked, Nick said that what stuck out for him, in addition to their obvious musical skills, was the fact that they sound so different from anything else. Theirs is truly original and unique songwriting.

We both loved their entertaining show and thank them and Toronto for giving us such a gift. We weren’t alone in our appreciation, as the place was packed, full of very enthusiastic fans.

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