Stars La Tulipe, Montreal, QC, September 19

Stars La Tulipe, Montreal, QC, September 19
Photo: Julie Michaud
Hometown heroes Stars, in the words of fellow Canadian act Diamond Rings, "needed no introduction" before their performance on the opening night of Pop Montreal. The melodramatic pop composers took the opportunity to introduce and re-introduce their brand new album The North, however. The band played the record nearly start to finish, with vocalists Torquil Campbell and Amy Milan juggling lead parts and mid-song banter.

After opening with the record's synth-heavy dancer of a first single "The Theory of Relativity," Milan's high-pitch pleas of "What do I do when I get lonely?" on track "Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It" reverberated through the crowd. After jokingly calling on fans to overthrow the Canadian government, Campbell's croon led the way over the more traditionally guitar-focused single "A Song Is a Weapon." The duo's charisma and comfort on stage was as clear in their near-perfect harmonies as it was in Milan tip-toeing and hopping around the stage like a hyper child.

Though only a couple of the classics cracked the set list, with the crowd's joy and participation peaking when given the reins to sing a verse of "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead," Stars' deep roots and fan base in the city made the show a tale of "you had me at hello." Or, based on Campbell's first words to the crowd, "you had me at bonsoir." With a long tour ahead of them this fall, the band made it clear they were happy their journey started at home, which is exactly what they seemed on the La Tulipe stage.

To see Exclaim!'s Pop Montreal photo gallery, head here.