Stars round out doubleheader at Slim’s

StarsPhotos by Chaya Frash // Written by Molly Kish //

Entering into the second leg of their US tour, promoting latest album The North, Montreal-based indie rock veterans Stars visited two historic venues in SF. Playing shows at both the Great American Music Hall and Slim’s, the band’s following in the Bay Area made each performance a night to remember. When asked by the band’s animated front man Torquil Campbell, “Who joined us last night at Great American?” the audience at Slim’s erupted in cheers September 18. This led into what was ultimately a set-long love letter to the city of San Francisco and its dedicated base of fans.

Stars played a set that spanned their entire discography, catering to the eclectic crew of fans they’ve accumulated over the years. Dense with emotionally charged ballads, the crowd swayed along entranced by the onstage dynamics of Torquil Campbell and Amy Milan. A much more mellow show than their previous Bay Area performance at the Fillmore this past year, the band took the focus off of their newest material and delved deep into their nostalgic, melancholy tunes.


Stars certainly sprinkled in dance jams from The North throughout the night’s performance, but the real focus seemed to be on earlier heavy-hitting rock anthems, to the crowd’s delight. Igniting the intimate venue with “Take Me To The Riot” and “Bitches In Tokyo”, those in attendance shouted along in glee to songs that were mentioned to have not been played on stage in 14 plus years. The crowd was treated to extended stage time with the group’s touring violinist, who was celebrating an early birthday.

Matching the crowd’s enthusiasm, the band ate up the energy of the packed venue. At one point Campbell took a front row fans gift of Japanese lilies, then proceeded to bite and rip the heads off of their stalks and disseminate the bouquet into the crowd throughout the show. Campbell, who wore a handmade “Dead Child Actor” t-shirt, graciously thanked the female audience member for her help in “creating drama.”


Culminating the set with a four-song encore, punctuated by a stripped down, band pow wow of “The 400”, each member sat together in front of the drum set singing into two mics, and they ultimately turned to the audience for participation. Exiting one by one into the downstairs dressing room, Stars’ members emphatically professed their love for the bay area and promised to return soon.

The next course post tour for Stars is to finish recording their new album, then get back on the road again. Promising that SF will be one of their first stops post-production, the crowd responded with their own fond farewell, and the night came to a bittersweet end.

The Night Starts Here
Ageless Beauty
A Song Is a Weapon
Death to Death
One More Night
Soft Revolution
Dead Hearts
Your Ex-Lover Is Dead
We Don’t Want Your Body
Take Me to the Riot
Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It

Calendar Girl
The Theory of Relativity
Elevator Love Letter
The 400



  1. What were the old songs they played?

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