Stars Downtown Sudbury Playground, Sudbury ON, August 13

Stars Downtown Sudbury Playground, Sudbury ON, August 13
Photo: Eric Noble-Marks
Now in their 16th year of existence, Stars proved at Up Here festival Saturday night (August 13) that their songs are just as vital and effervescent as ever.
Opener "Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It" was a shot of adrenaline straight to the heart of the rain-dampened Sudbury crowd. Its bubbly synthesizers and power pop energy set the tone for another lively show from the Toronto outfit.
The famous chemistry between dual vocalists Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan was once again on show, with the former's melodrama and the latter's restraint playing off each other well, even if Millan was ultimately the stronger figure. Though Campbell seemed to handle the lion's share of the stage banter and traditional frontman duties, Millan was the spiritual heart of the set, her breathy croon every bit as breathtaking live as it is on record.
The band wisely chose a setlist spanning their extensive discography. Perhaps not surprisingly, the Set Yourself on Fire cuts resonated best, with tracks like "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead" every bit as anthemic as they were over a decade ago. The main set was deftly capped with "No One is Lost" before the group returned to the stage for crowd-pleasers "Ageless Beauty" and "Calendar Girl," finally ending the set with newer track "From the Night" and sending the Sudbury crowd home happy.