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Photos By Clarissa Villondo, Words By Matty Greene

Thanks a lot for the feels Canada. Stars’ show last Thursday night at 9:30 Club, along with up-and-coming youngsters Hey Rosetta!, was just what D.C. needed to kickoff the first chilly night of fall. And what better way than with Canucks who unabashedly sing about their emotions — violins included, of course.

Hey Rosetta!, a seven-piece group from very-cold-sounding St. John’s, Newfoundland, is celebrating the release of their new album Soft Offering on this tour. While the album is not available in the states yet, the crowd sang along to songs like “Kintsukuroi,” foreshadowing big things to come for them here.

The septet’s sound, composed of multiple guitarists and keyboardists with a couple orchestral instruments thrown in the mix never overwhelmed one another during the set. 9:30 Club was an appropriate space for the large group, with lead vocalist Tim Baker humbly sharing the stage with the group’s other talented, and attractive, counterparts. Well done, Canada.

Hey Rosetta

Stars took the stage to a screaming crowd of hipsters ready to dance. Throughout the show Stars’ leading fellow in his standard beige suit and black tie, Torquil Campbell, along with gorgeous leading lady, Amy Millan, got down and dirty in their dancing. This was appropriate as the band’s most recent album, No One is Lost, features more electronic elements than before. Songs like “From the Night” describe that underlying drive that carries people through the work week, only to release it all in nocturnal weekend binges — a pattern this city knows far too well.

Stars

Stars has nearly 15 years under their belt, and that growth in style and music was apparent throughout the show. Their 2004 breakout album Set Yourself on Fire was released ten years ago, when many of the audience members were still in college, these songs really packed a punch to the nostalgia-gut. It’s hard to listen to songs like “Your Ex-Lover is Dead” and not reminisce about house parties with shitty beer where you spent the night flirting and drifting through various college romances.

By the end of the night, Stars’ charming performance had enraptured the hearts of the audience. Campbell and the rest of the band thanked the D.C. crowd multiple times mentioning their love for the 9:30 Club, this sentiment further validated on their Twitter feed. It was refreshing to see a band so unabashedly happy about doing their thing.

Stars

It’s a guarantee that Stars will be back in D.C. but it won’t be the same show. As Campbell has said, “Next time we make an album, it’ll be different again. There’ll be something else, some other obstacle that pushes us into a corner and forces us to reinvent what we’re doing.” We can’t predict the content of the next Stars album but there’s comfort knowing anything they do is a genuine effort to make us smile, cry and dance. Thanks for the warm fuzzies, Canada.

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