Stars: Live in Tarrytown, NY

Stars at Tarrytown

Wrapping up our third consecutive night of live music from Canadian artists on tour here in the US, Team GDW left PA on Saturday morning and took a scenic drive across northern New Jersey into New York.  Crossing the Hudson River, we arrived in Tarrytown, NY, ready to enjoy an evening with both Dan Mangan and the headlining act, Stars.  This was our first visit to the Tarrytown Music Hall, a magnificent late 19th century theater at the heart of the town.  Exploring a little of the town prior to the show, we made our way to the venue, located our seats, and prepared for our first opportunity to finally experience the music of Dan Mangan live.

Touring as a solo artist for the opening duties of this tour, Dan was introduced to the stage, and with his acoustic guitar in hand, used his allotted time to share six tunes with the audience.  Like any music fans, we naturally had a ‘wish list’ of Dan’s songs that we wanted to hear, and were fortunate to enjoy both “Race To The Bottom” (from the “Unmake” EP) and “Road Regrets” (from “Nice, Nice, Very Nice”).  Dan would also add “Post War Blues,” stating that this was a song about war-mongering, and how easy it is to divert attention from a political scandal by simply dropping bombs elsewhere.

Announcing that he plans to release his fifth full-length album later this year, Dan shared two new tracks with the audience, including a brand new single “Fool For Waiting,” to which he has shared an incredibly enlightening and personal tale across social media recently to coincide with the release.  On this particular night, Dan would add that he had finally written this love song for his wife, yet could not fully explain to her how the idea of this song was inspired by “that episode of Seinfeld where he dates a masseuse.”  Returning to his “Nice, Nice, Very Nice” material, Dan would end his set with an uplifting rendition of “Basket,” which he dedicated to his grandfather.  A wonderful mixture of music to fill his 35 minutes of stage time, and a gentleman to whom we are very much grateful for the conversation after the show.  Now we just need to catch Dan as a headliner with his full band to fully appreciate the wonderful, yet poignant music that he has to offer.

Dan Mangan Set List:

  1. Race To The Bottom
  2. Post War Blues
  3. Road Regrets
  4. Fool For Waiting
  5. There Is No Such Thing As Wasted Love
  6. Basket

 

Following a brief intermission, the lights dimmed and Stars made their appearance on stage.  Fresh off the release of their most recent “There Is No Love In Fluorescent Light” album, the tour is geared to promote this collection of new songs.  Of course, with an almost 15 year back catalog of music in their repertoire, there was no shortage of hits on offer.  As the band wrapped up their opening track “Losing To You,” co-vocalist Torq Campbell was clearly unimpressed with the ‘seating arrangements’ of this old theater, and the distance between the crowd and the stage.  Pumping up the audience with his high energy level, Campbell promptly encouraged everybody to flock to the stage, and with equal gusto from the band, would keep fans on their feet for the remainder of the evening.

Several tracks were performed from the new album.  Torq Campbell would handle the lead vocal duties on “Losing To You” and “Alone,”, while co-vocalist/guitarist Amy Millan took the lead with “Real Thing” and their brand new single “Ship To Shore” (not on the album).  Both would share the vocal duties on the title track, “Fluorescent Light,” supported on this and every tune as always by Chris Seligman (keyboards), Evan Cranley (bass), Chris McCarron (lead guitar) and Pat McGee (percussion).

The audience responded positively to the band’s energy all night, with an intensity that peaked each time a well-known hit was performed.  And Stars did not disappoint, reaching deep into their musical past to perform older hits such as “Elevator Love Letter” (from “Heart”) and “Ageless Beauty” (from “Set Yourself On Fire,” which Amy dedicated to a young audience member).  Once again the vocals were split appropriately, with Torq showcasing his theatrical candor during “Trapdoor” (from “No One Is Lost”) and “Take Me To The Riot” (from “In Our Bedroom After The War”); and Amy easily handling “Wasted Daylight” and “How Much More” (both from “The Five Ghosts”).  After conversing with a young lady just below her on the floor, Amy would mock-faint on to the stage when informed by this fan that she was attending her fourteenth Stars concert.

Stars would return to their popular “Set Yourself On Fire” album for the final track, closing with the hit duet “Calendar Girl.”  Receiving their well-deserved applause, the band would of course return for an encore performance, returning one final time to “The Five Ghosts” album with “Dead Time,” and sending the audience home with the title track from their 2014 “No One Is Lost” album.  Team GDW enjoyed every second of this show, and appreciate having seen a full set from Stars given that our previous encounter with the band was a 40 minute ‘festival’ set last year.  We had an amazing evening in Tarrytown, NY, and strongly encourage everybody to catch them on their current US tour and share in this wonderful experience of energetic music too.

Stars Set List:

  1. Losing To You
  2. Wasted Daylight
  3. Fluorescent Light
  4. How Much More
  5. The Theory Of Relativity
  6. Ageless Beauty
  7. Alone
  8. Ship To Shore
  9. Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It
  10. Real Thing
  11. Your Ex-Lover Is Dead
  12. Personal
  13. Elevator Love Letter
  14. Trap Door
  15. This Is The Last Time
  16. Take Me To The Riot
  17. Calendar Girl

Encore:

  1. Dead Hearts
  2. No One Is Lost

~ M

Visit Dan Mangan on Facebook.

Listen to his 2011 album “Oh Fortune” on Spotify.

Visit Stars’ website.

Listen to “There Is No Love in Fluorescent Light” on Spotify.

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