Sunday, November 30, 2008

Stars @ Metropolis, Montreal, Nov. 28

It’s been a banner time for seeing Stars live — in the last 15 months, I’ve been to six of their concerts, with a seventh show to come in a couple weeks. And while faithful readers of this blog may be tiring of my post-concert reports, I have yet to wear of seeing them live. Torq Campbell (pictured) in particular, the ex-actor and blossoming crooner, is a joy to watch, at turns swearing, smiling, dancing and laying out his sensitive, seemingly tortured soul. I realized at this show, held in their adopted hometown of Montreal, that, yes, I want to be Torq, and I don’t care who knows. If that’s an adolescent thought, it’s in alignment with Stars’ own position, caught between the teenage power of pop music and the clearly adult themes of their songs. “I’m 14 forever, if I make you believe,” Torq sings on “14 Forever,” regrettably, the only song they did not play from their new EP Sad Robots. They’re back on tour promoting that EP, which consists of six subtler, more personal songs that, as could be expected, didn’t do so well live. I’m even disappointed that those songs helped squeeze out other, far better tracks from their usual concert playlist. No “In Our Bedroom” or “Reunion” or “Heart” or even “The Aspidistra Files,” a lovely, mostly forgotten track that they sometimes play. No worries — I’m sure I’ll hear them all again another time soon.

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