Stars fans crowding the Beachland Ballroom last night got two full hours' worth of music, including the entire Five Ghosts album (before its official release) and a set built by Internet requests.
The six-piece band were reserved at first, playing through the quietly swelling "Dead Hearts", where singer/guitarist Amy Millan traded phrases with singer Torquil Campbell.
It wasn’t until their third song, "I Died So I Could Haunt You" — a well-arranged, driving tune marked by drummer Pat McGee’s danceable 6/8 rhythm and Campbell’s purging cry, “I died so I can haunt you/I died so I can have you” — that the audience began to warm up to the new material.
Stars worked through the synth-rich album, which embodies their pensive indie-pop. Catchy melodies were woven with rich harmonies and simple, memorable hooks, as both singers traded spots in the center.
After Five Ghosts, the band played a set list made up of fans’ online votes, launching singalongs to faves from Heart and Set Yourself on Fire.
Last night's performance didn’t veer off the score with embellishments or rearrangements. Stars stuck to the script and relied on the ebullient Milan and Campbell to entertain.
"Elevator Love Letter," "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead," and "Ageless Beauty" had the ladies belting out lyrics and dancing against their patient boyfriends, ending the night with the band playing with the crowd instead of for them. —Adam Burroughs