Seeing Stars: A Date Night Right Out Of A Fairytale

One night, Mark came to me, all excited, and told me that one of his favourite bands was coming to Ottawa in December. The band in question was Stars, a group I had heard him mention many, many times. He informed me that he already went ahead and bought us tickets and asked if I wanted to go. Although I had never really listened to their music, other than hearing it in the background when Mark was listening to it, I said I wanted to go to the concert. Honestly, I was looking forward to it. It’s been so long since I’ve seen live music. Plus, Mark was so over-the-top excited that he could have told me we were going to see John Doe the Yodeler and I still would have been interested to go just because it meant so much to him.

But seeing Stars live was more important than just seeing a band my spouse likes. Since this show was scheduled for December, the band advertised that they would be closing the show with “Fairytale in New York”. This Christmas song was originally written and performed by The Pogues, and both the original song and the Stars cover have been a regular part of Mark’s Christmas music playlist for the entire time that I have known him.

One of the pieces of band merch being sold at the concert. A must have for sure.

Then, in December of 2019, Mark told me he wanted to incorporate the song into our November 2020 wedding. The lyrics were, and continue to be, meaningful to us, so we decided that this would be the song of our first dance. Mark had even arranged to have some friends of ours further customize the lyrics and perform it live for us at the wedding. But just a few months after this decision, COVID hit and threw our wedding plans into turmoil. Although we still got to have our November 2020 wedding, we had to sacrifice a lot, including our first dance. So you can imagine how excited we were to be able to hear our would-be first dance song live.

Now as I said, I have never listened to Stars’ music before, but it didn’t take long for them to win me over. I enjoyed the music and loved their energy. Honestly, between the performers and the audience members, it felt like we were all just happy to be at a concert after all of the COVID lockdowns and restrictions of the past two years. But that’s part of what made me like them. The band was so genuinely excited to be performing again, and to be interacting with their fans. That’s one of my favourite things – when a celebrity or performer has a genuine love and appreciation for their fans. They were also vocal about supporting other artists in these chaotic times, especially their opening act Charlotte Cornfield. So how could I not fall in love with such a quirky, wonderful group of people? Besides, I have a feeling that more than a few of their songs are going to end up on my future playlists.

Since this was a Christmas show, they really went all out when it came to the theme. Although there were only a handful of well chosen Christmas songs scattered throughout the lineup, you never once forgot what time of year it is. The stage was so festive it brought tears to my eyes. I’m not kidding. Behind the drumkit were four, tall, metallic Christmas trees that were covered in white lights. And the space in front of the drums was even more aggressively festive. You know those plastic lawn ornaments that light up from the inside? Well, those were all over the stage. There were candy canes, candles, and snowmen. And when everything was lit up, and the stage was washed in red and green light, the whole thing looked like it was right out of a Christmas movie.

But what about THE SONG? No matter how invested I was in the rest of the concert, every aspect of that night was leading up towards the closing act. Obviously, I cried the moment “Fairytale in New York” started. Although we were sitting up in the mezzanine, and not dancing on the floor below, Mark and I still got our romantic moment where we held each other and sang along to our would-be first dance song. Hearing it performed live was absolutely perfect. And it was a wonderful way to close out the concert. Looks like I’m a Stars fan now.

I’ve got a feeling
This year’s for me and you
So happy Christmas
I love you baby
I can see a better time
When all our dreams come true

“Fairytale in New York” by The Pogues

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