Live at the Pabst: Stars
Robert Elfgen - Untitled (2008)
Stars brightly lit up the historic Pabst Theater in Milwaukee tonight. Their music perfectly translates to their live presence, as they are whimsical, reflective, romantic, and fairytale-esque... taking the crowd on a journey of hardships, desperation, and inner turmoil, but leaving them with inevitable, prevailing beauty. Much like a rose’s thorn that cuts deep into you, their music tears harsh, stinging, tense wounds that heal into sweetness.
It was nothing but fitting for Stars to launch out flowers to the crowd throughout the set. As band members shot out everything from fresh carnations to roses, fans, unlike blushing bridesmaids, didn’t mind getting cut by the thorns or poked by stems to get their little piece of pleasure from the pain.
Quite possibly one of the best vocal duos around, Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan feed off each other’s antics, perfectly balancing each other’s whims. Torq is one of the most passionate musicians around, as he calculates his theatrics and sings with such a wide range, full of animation. Beside him stood the gentle Amy Millan, whose soft, angelic, yet strong presence brightly illuminated the theater. Her warm, wispy vocals and graceful vulnerability lends her a certain power and intensity. Through it all, Stars were endearing and gracious, generously covering songs from Heart, Set Yourself on Fire, and In Our Bedroom After the War.
With Stars, you just don’t know what they’ll do next, if they will be broken or whole.
-- Beth Wick
Stars - Your Ex-Lover Is Dead (mp3)