Valentines Day need not always be about flowers, chocolates or fancy plated meals at high-end restaurants.
For those who found themselves spending the holy sacrosanct evening of February the 14th with the Canadian band Stars at the Victoria Theatre, you would find that, with or without a date, there was plenty to feel cheerful about (even if your partner got you the wrong variety of flowers or your girlfriend’s dress doesn’t abide by your carefully colour-coordinated outfits).
The band settled in progression upon their prompt arrival — there’s something about those age old concert halls that impels bands to start on time— spreading heart-shaped greetings with a certain nonchalance and an F-bomb, but also with a certain degree of prudence to not upset any hand-holding couples.
Looking at previous setlists, expectations were plenty that there were going to stick to a set based around their celebrated 2004 album Set Yourself On Fire album. Fans were instead treated to an interweaved list of tunes from 2003’s Heart to their latest release No One Is Lost.
With the band playing into their 17th year together, it may seem like the sand in the running glass is running out — the possibility of Stars burning out and announcing their farewell tour may seem nearer than ever but lead singer Torquil urged Singaporean fans present in the Victoria Theatre hall to never forget the band, as the band would never forget their fans just as much.
While the expiration date of Stars still seems unclear, what was evident that night is that fans at present have been sticking by the band for an unfathomable amount of time.
Regardless of when the track was released, fans would cling onto the stage — pouring our their hearts with equal gutsiness as the melodica-trotting frontman.
Old favourites like ’Elevator Love Letter’ and ‘Take Me to the Riot’ continually drew the wildest of screams. But there was a underlying sweeping movement of nostalgia swashed with delight and relief from growing old, as the unison of voices echoed in repetition of the mantra in ‘Your Ex-Lover is Dead’: “Live through this and you won’t look back.”
With the heavy-hearted progression of the night, Amy Millan trifled in with the opening of ‘My Favourite Book’, a last-minute addition that gets the boot on most of their repertoire.
Yet, the latest album proudly announces that the veterans haven’t lost their charm in songwriting, as they spew every bit of life within them to create a shindig of an outfit alive within the spaces of the stage. ‘From the Night’ seeks to remember a distant memory of wild nights where glasses were tipped not sipped while laughter instead of words made up the very expression of language.
Being in a band certainly has certainly splattered most of that charm of St. Valentines, no arrow-wielding cupids or heart-shaped expressions onstage.
Frontman Torquil, who hasn’t spent Valentines Day with his wife in years from the rigorous touring seasons, dedicated ‘Ageless Beauty’ to his Juliet across the world, while Amy Millian, who's married to bassist Evan Cranley, suffered the cold shoulder from her beau onstage all night (we hope it’s nothing serious!).
Again, Valentines Day is not for everyone, but here’s to another spent in the company of music.