Stars have spent most of their time as a band exploring the million ways you can get your heart broken and then pieced back together again. They're experts at crafting emotionally moving character sketches, and if you've ever loved and lost, they have at least one song that will knock you flat with a wave of old feelings and familiar regrets. In the past, the band heightened the melodrama with syrupy orchestral flourishes, but recently they've largely abandoned the strings for chilly synthesizers, balancing their theatrics with danceable pop gems. That Stars can slip between styles so convincingly is due to the strength of its individual members—Amy Millan's voice is both iron-strong and feather-light, while Torquil Campbell remains a consummate storyteller, reveling in the details of failed relationships. Though they're touring behind a new album, the group doesn't lean too heavily on recent material; longtime fans will be happy to know that songs from across their catalogue show up in concert, and that "Your Ex-Lover is Dead" absolutely kills live. 18+.
Wed., Oct. 27, 8 p.m., 2010