Potsy reviewed Stellastarr* last year and wasn't impressed, wasn't unimpressed. He was left unmoved. That sums up the way I've always felt about the band. I've heard their stuff on WOXY and listened to a few albums but I just don't pay much attention to the band. Maybe if I had discovered them at a different time in my life I might care about Stellastarr*. I figured they were past their prime and would fade away soon enough. Yet they continue to tour, put out records, be mentioned on blogs, and be played on the radio. Why? I needed to see for myself.
The Parish, while not exactly packed, was filled with Stellastarr* superfans. They knew the words to all the songs and happily bounced along to each tune. To the band's credit they did a great job of mixing their new stuff in with their "classic" songs. The crowd responded equally to both. A sign they aren't past their prime? Perhaps. It could've been my extremely low expectations or the fact I was close to the stage and surrounded by excited fans, but the show was very entertaining. A few tunes were a bit melodramatic but overall it was heavier than anticipated. There was some fuzz and distortion along with lots of searing guitar. I'm certainly not going to complain about that. I could get behind this band if they ditched the pop stuff and focused more on the new wave and punk songs.
This one show hasn't exactly turned me into a Stellastarr* fan. They easily surpassed my low expectations and garnered my respect. I no longer dismiss them as a shitty wuss rock band. However, I won't be lining up tickets for their next show. As I stood there amazed at how much I was enjoying the show I realized it wasn't that good. I started to compare it to other shows I had been to recently and frankly, it didn't rank very high. For example, last week I went to an in-store performance of Tiny Vipers. It was just one woman (a girl really), a microphone, and a guitar. Stellastarr* had more energy but in terms of overall performance and quality of songs, Tiny Vipers' short 5 song set won out. The Tale of the Tape says: Advantage Tiny Vipers. So there you have it. It's all so simple when you break things down.