Come On, Amy, Light My Fire
Granted, the Stars Set Yourself On Fire brand matches have all the aspects of a clever promotion; they’re cheaply produced, easily distributed, and infinitely practical. It’s an intersting idea. But based on Thursday night’s Stars concert at the Phoenix, perhaps a more deft advertising move would be to make better use Amy Millan’s mesmerizing good looks. In all the Stars press packets and media, she’s practically hidden. Please! The woman is 100 per cent babe! And this isn’t something Torontoist is trying to conceal – we’re very open about our creepy “internet guy” crush on the stunning Stars vocalist. But for this post – the last time we mention Amy Millan or Stars for a while – we’ll take a detour from our usual goo-goo ga-ga, “we love Amy” type banter to review the Stars show at Exclaim Magazine‘s 13th Anniversary Party.
The night began with a spicy vegetarian curry at Green Mango (707 Yonge St.) – and things only got spicier! Missing both Montag and Wooden Stars, Torontoist settled for a good not great warm-up set from Van-City’s The Organ before our pop romantique heroes took the stage around midnight. As soon as Ms Millan danced (pranced?) on stage in a sleek, lowish cut black dress with the double sport-like stripe, the capacity crowd had little need for the matches. (Get it? Because she was so hot, or on fire, or something along those lines).
Highlights included the office romance anthem “Elevator Love Letter” and more recent “Your Ex-Lover is Dead.” Following an instrumentation heavy set, the show closed with a version of “The First Five Times” that was actually superior to the recorded version. Evan Cranley, who served as a sort of musical anchor to the group, made a case for “best bassist in Toronto” with song after song of bass-line bliss. Co-vocalist Torquil Campbell, well, is a dweeb. His overreaching theatrics and unfunniness (dedicating “Ageless Beauty” to the ‘hosers’?) led to questions his actual contribution to the band. Still, with the radiance of Amy Millan’s pristine vocals and generous good looks, it’s hard to focus on the negatives here.
Also of note: Andrew Whiteman hustled around as guitar tech, The Organ did NOT play “No One Has Ever Looked So Dead,” Sloan’s Jay Ferguson was in the house, there was an really obnoxious moron who introduced The Organ, and…Amy! Amy! Amy!