When a band first performs new material, there are two different reactions from the crowd. Some fans take the opportunity to go get another drink from the bar or use the time to relieve themselves in the bathroom. These fans don't recognize the familiar songs they know and love, so they choose to be ignorant and say to themselves, "I only want to hear the old stuff". The true follower of the band is keen to hear what new material the band has been working on since their last tour and will give the new songs a chance and will be attentive and open.
Stars brought their Five Ghosts tour to Winnipeg last Monday (May 10) and performed their new album in it's entirety, in order and gave their lucky fans an opportunity to assess and listen to the new material. For this mini-pre-release tour, Stars chose to play clubs instead of theatres for a more intimate experience to see and hear the band more up-close and personal. The last two times Stars played Winnipeg, they filled the much larger venues, Burton Cummings Theatre and Pantages Theatre for their, In Our Bedroom After The War tour. The Pyramid Cabaret's capacity is around 300, so tickets were limited and sold-out quickly.
Despite the 8:00 pm start time on the ticket, the band didn't hit the stage until after 10:20, which isn't surprising considering it's a bar (which makes it's money selling drinks) opposed to a concert hall venue. We arrived at the club just before 8:30 and had to stand in a long line outside in the rain just to gain entrance into the club. For some reason, there was photo ID checks for everyone (including myself) and "mandatory" coat checks which seemed to clog up the inside of the entrance, which in turn caused the lineup outside. I forgot to mention, preceding the band, singer Torquil Campbell did a opening DJ set as he was seated with his laptop on stage and "spun" some dance music and tunes he thought he should share. Stars proceeded to perform Five Ghosts in track order and the mindful crowd patiently listened, but it's so hard to gauge their response since most of these songs have never been heard. Their sound seems to be more electronic and a little less poppy (if you can call their music that), so their new album may require a few more concentrated listening before passing judgement. Set two or the second half of the show, featured songs that were voted for by the fans, along with other favourites. The energy of the show was much higher for this set both for the band and the crowd. Fans sang along to the familiar hits and the band's stage show was more tight and spirited. The band was enjoying themselves and they acknowledged their fan's dedication for the past 10 years. Hopefully, they'll be around for another ten!
01. Dead Hearts 02. Wasted Daylight 03. I Died So I Could Haunt You 04. Fixed 05. We Don't Want Your Body 06. He Dreams He's Awake 07. Changes 08. The Passenger 09. The Last Song Ever Written 10. How Much More 11. Winter Bones 12. Your Ex-Lover Is Dead 13. The Night Starts Here 14. Take Me to the Riot 15. Elevator Love Letter 16. Heart 17. Ageless Beauty 18. One More Night 19. Calendar Girl
Encore: 20. Tonight (tracks 1-11: Five Ghosts album)
This is an audience recording, so the sound isn't perfect. The Pyramid has always had pretty shitty sound, but this actually sounds clearer than when you listen in person. During the first song and during a couple of other songs, stupid girls in front of me chat and talk excessively, which irritated not only me, but always others squeezed in around me trying to listen to the show. I'll talk about concert etiquette another time! Overall, this sounds really good! If you are a fan of Stars, you can preview the new album live, a full month before it's released. I haven't seen any other recordings from this tour so far or on Dime, so this is show is special.