Thursday, September 27, 2012

Stars, Diamond Rings & California Wives rock the Cradle

All photos by Kevin Norris
Canadian indie pop band Stars returned to the Cat's Cradle on Wednesday night to share their latest album The North with their Triangle fans.

The band played a set heavy on the new album, opening with danceable first single "The Theory of Relativity" and they played all but one of the twelve songs during their 20-song set. The crowd belted out the lyrics to the new songs including "Through the Mines" and the fantastic "Hold on When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It."

The band balanced the new songs with tunes from their catalog, digging as far back as "Elevator Love Letter" from their 2003 album Heart. "Your Ex-Lover is Dead" featured a vigorous crowd singalong that caused big smiles to wash over most of the band.

Torquil Campbell was particularly fiery during the set bouncing around the stage, talking to the crowd and repeatedly praising the Cat's Cradle and the crowd for supporting the band for many years.

When the band returned for an encore, it started with singing "Happy Birthday" to keyboardist Chris Seilgman, who had just turned 40. They then played a single-song encore of "The 400," a ballad from The North. It was a fantastic show and the band sounded tighter than ever. From their repeated praise for Carrboro, I expect we'll be seeing them again at the Cradle before we know it.

The night started with two great opening sets. First was Chicago band California Wives.  The band played a short, but fantastic set of dreamy pop tunes from their debut album Art History. Even though frontman Jayson Kramer was battling the flu, he and the rest of the band sounded fantastic and killed with their set closer "Blood Red Youth."

Canadian singer songwriter John O, aka Diamond Rings, was us up next. Backed by a three-piece band decked out in all black, John O strode onto stage wearing all white including a studded white leather jacket. The band rolled through a short set of funky, electro-pop laced with 1980s charm. The band played songs mostly from their forthcoming album Free Dimensional, due out on October 23, but also played the band's first song "All Yr Songs" as a request. Diamond Rings are definitely a band to check out when they start touring behind their new album.

Stars set list
The Theory of Relativity
A Song is a Weapon
Ageless Beauty
The North
We Don't Want Your Body
Through the Mines
Your Ex-Lover is Dead
Do You Want to Die Together?
Soft Revolution
Lights Changing Colour
Dead Hearts
Elevator Love Letter
Midnight Coward
Hold on When You Get Love and Let Go When You Get It
Take Me to the Riot
The 400

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