Take me to the Riot: Stars shine at the Mod Club
The Mod Club is such a versatile space. It can be used as a great concert venue – larger or intimate – or of course, for their popular mod nights and club jams. For the Stars show the space managed to accommodate a rather large number of people, while also keeping with the intimate atmosphere that Stars fans know and love. There were flowers all over the stage and soft lighting to accent the set-up. While the audience filed in, old Motown songs played via the DJ.
Doors opened at 8pm, but the show didn’t start until well after 10pm. There was no opener, but if you wanted decent standing space (general admission), you had to have shown up promptly at 8pm. Now, this wouldn’t have been too much of an issue if the air-conditioning was working. Standing dangerously close to strangers while sweating buckets is never fun, though some die-hard fans would have said it was worth it. (Sidebar: why do I continue to go to venues where there is no air conditioning?)
The show was divided into 2 parts. First, the band made this an opportunity to showcase their newest album, “The Five Ghosts,” and test the audience reaction. A bit of a bold move. However, this just demonstrates that they have a strong idea of their fans’ dedication to what they do. Toronto was the second audience ever to hear it live (woot!), and Ottawa was the first the night before. The songs were fresh and lyrically pleasing (it’s almost needless to say so), though darker and more reflective than the lyrics of the tunes on “Heart.” Still, the new tunes keep the tradition of the Stars’ free spirit type of sound. The audience just sat back and listened, taking it all in.
As the first part came to a close, the band needed to take a five minute break before continuing. A little peculiar, I thought, but regardless, it seemed as though the band needed a break from the heat! They were very sympathetic of this to the audience and assured us that they wouldn’t leave us out there sweltering for too long. The Mod Club gave away free water bottles to compensate as well.
The second part of the show was a selection of songs that were chosen by the fans. The set included: “Heart,” “Ageless Beauty,” “Take me to the Riot,” and “Calendar Girl.” The crowd’s energy rose as they sang along and danced to the songs they all know and love.
Throughout the show, Chris (vocals and guitar), was high as a kite. This isn’t just speculation; he constantly spoke of it, and openly smoked a home-made apple pipe on stage. Amy (lead vocals and guitar) had her natural tone about her seeming as though she was singing to herself unknowing of the lookers on. Overall it seemed as though they wanted to share the music with everyone, not just perform it.
The new album “The Five Ghosts” comes out June 22, but a few singles can be streamed through their Myspace page. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or a curious newbie, it’s definitely worth a listen.
– REVIEW BY MEGAN OQUIAS