Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Stellastarr* / The Editors live @ Fine Line 4/18/06

Stellastarr* live @ Fine Line Music Cafe 4/18/06

All photos from Stellastarr* here. Slideshow here.

Editors live @ Fine Line Music Cafe 4/18/06

All photos from Editors here. Slideshow here.

Ryan aka Engineer Fred (Art Brut review here) decided to review yet another show. He's a musical genius, here's what he wrote:

Hello all. Engineer Fred here with a review of stellastarr*/The Editors, Fine Line Music Club, Minneapolis, 4/18/06

I have to start by saying: I don't get why Stellastarr (oops, pardon me, stellastarr*) isn't huge. Collectively they have more than the average number of requisite elements to make a power pop juggernaut: Outstanding -- I mean REALLY outstanding -- hooks/songwriting (always the rarest element of pop success), distinctive vocals, HOT HOT HOT bassist, 'tight as a Scotsman's ass' live set, good personalities, etc., . . . these qualities alone should be enough to make you fork over $15 for a ticket, but for some reason, I could walk around freely tonight 'mongst the Fine Line crowd. It could be that they spent a long time between records [label politics is the culprit according to their drummer, Arthur], and consequently a long time between Twin Cities appearances, but they were certainly ready to fill the unaccustomed 2nd slot of the evening's 3 band bill.

What can I say? Stellastarr* is a favorite band of mine, and I have particularly fond memories and memorabilia from seeing them at the 7th St Entry a couple of years ago [notably after skipping some random band named "The Killers" who were their openers . . . like THEY'LL ever be any good]. Particular highlights tonight included many tracks from their first record, among them: "No Weather" and "A Million Reasons". Their most recent release was less well covered in terms of numbers but equally visited in terms of quality, "Sweet Troubled Soul" stands out as a solid entry in their catalog. "Pulp Song" and "My Coco" thought are two of the most solid songs I've heard in the past 3 years, and deserve to be high on your ITunes rankings -- tonight they were played with gusto and abandon. I can give no higher complements. Well done stellastarr*, well done.

Amusingly, it's easy to see why this band was paired with an 80's themed opener last time they came around these parts; they have many an echo of the best of the non-synth, early 80's post New Wave sound -- think a rocking version of The Faint. But tonight, I note that they're now being paired with a late 70's, early 80's Joy Division/A Certain Ratio/Television outfit [The Editors] that manages to recycle the best of all three of those acts with a spastic (thank you Tiger) twist that I find endearing because it's so well done. Stellastarr* are, to a certain extent, chameleons on record but officially qualify as "sock removers" live. Go see them. Coco. Buy their cd's. Worship their bassist.

Until next time . . .

Steve here. Thanks Ryan! I don't have a whole lot to add, except that Editors were excellent live, and super-nice,; and Amanda and I are "crazy in love, Tom Cruise style" (sorry NYC band guy)!!!

mp3: Stellastarr* - In The Walls (Acoustic)

I'm ready to die:

Amanda & Rock 'n' Roll Star

Do check out the photos on Flickr... they're some of the best stuff I've ever taken, "restaurant quality" for you...

P.S. Sorry, no video... I chewed up my memory card with all the photos...


Anonymous said...

Great review Engineer Fred. I felt stellastarr* played with an intensity and emotion that was lacking when I saw them open for the Raveonettes a few years back. A great set, loud as hell. I do have to correct your statement that they played 'Pulp Song'-I was waiting for it(they closed with it the last time they were here)but it unfortunately went unplayed. Great photos, especially the one with Amanda. Take care.

EngineerFred said...

You are so right about "Pulp Song" -- my bad. I meant "Jenny".

solace said...

Editors were much much better than i expected. I only sorta enjoyed their album last year, but i'll def see them again when they come back through (First Ave hopefully)!

stellastarr* were good, hadn't seen them since that first Entry gig. while the 2nd record songs sounded pretty good live, the highlights of the set were def mostly stuff off the first one.

Lorika said...

Perhaps there were not as many people because the set list from The Fine Line site was incorrect. It apparently listed Stellastarr as the headliner. We were trying to catch mostly them, and got there at 11pm, in time for most of the Editors set. Not sure why they (Editors)were headlining even, is it by number of miles traveled?

Seems like Stellastarr is the bigger band, at least here in the states. ; )

Editors were good, but to me suspiciously polished for a debut album. If they were on their third I'd feel like they were more genuine. Perhaps it's just my American distrust of the corporate rock band?

One more thing, is it just me, or does the Fine Line have an annoying light show? I'm sorry, but when I go to see a band I'd like to SEE them, not be blinded by the lights on stage, and see nothing but spots all night. And the screens they have all over are kinda useless too, they only show a back of audience view, no closer than your probably standing already when you can see the screens. Ok, that's enough bitching.

EngineerFred said...

I talked with a couple of the stellastarr*ians about the headlining thing -- it's allegedly a "co-headlining" tour, and stellastarr* had been doing the bulk of it until recently. Last night was simply The Editors' turn.

I think The Editors were pretty tight too, but their album came out over a year ago in the U.K. You figure they'd been preparing it a good 6 months before that. Throw in some undoubted e.p.'s or singles for the 6-8 months before that . . . they've been playing this stuff for at least two years; that explains the polish in my mind. I liked their new songs better than their old -- especially the second one. Title anyone?

rocknrollstar said...


Thanks again for the great review! Here's a setlist I found for Editors... pretty close I think:

All Sparks
You Are Fading
Open Your Arms
Fingers in the Factories

Ladytron is up next right!?

solace said...

i agree the light show was overbearing for such a small venue, but blame the band(s), that wasn't the Fine Line's lighting for the most part, they don't have anything that elaborate.

c said...

woah, NYC watch out, the MN bloggers are ripping it up! nice pic with amanda ;)

Zacharye Bread said...

That was easily one of the most disappointing concerts I've ever been to. I had to walk out on every band after the third song because IT ALL SOUNDED THE SAME!!!!

I would definitely bag that Amanda tho.