Last night, I would imagine that many religious experiences were had at the Tegan & Sara show. With each first note from their more than substantial playlist, there was jumping, screaming and yelping that were all just short of falling on the floor and speaking in tongues. And clearly, Tegan & Sara were goddesses to the packed house of hip lesbians and the people who love them.
I underestimated the drawing power of T&S because initially I thought they were at the Loft. Shah, right! After talking to Sara and researching them more, I would have figured a Granada-sized venue . Well, shut my mouth,. they filled that huge Palladium more than I had ever seen. With an army of T&S clones donning vests and spiky haircuts, the girls (and guys) were under their spell well before they started promptly at 9:30.
As performers, the duo isn’t at all flashy (Sara was working the mom jean look). They sing, play guitars (several of them), play keyboards and stand. But knocking out song after song with consistent conviction throughout the almost two-hour set made for a killer show. The crowd was perhaps where the energy was coming from but T&S knocked it out without ever looking exhausted. Although, standing in the same positions all night could be tiring. Opening with music from their newest album, Sainthood, released back in October, the die-hard fans (which was everyone) knew all the words as if they had memorized their prayers and ABC’s. No song, new or old, went unsung by both the band and the crowd.
They finished with an acoustic set of just the two which turned out to be just as satisfying as they were with the full band. Sara told me that they seem apologetic to even be onstage receiving this kind of attention and it shows. They gave humbled “thank you’s” after every song. They look no older than 21 (the twins are 29) but their seasoned career has taught them how to talk to an audience and give ’em a thrill without ever being silly. T&S are cute women and they can work it even when it doesn’t look like they are. Banter about the Canadian women hockey team winning gold and their grandmother predicting they would be lesbians had the crowd roaring. And even if they repeat that stuff every night on tour, they are convincingly sweet, tender and genuine.
They are transparent in all the right ways and charming as heck which makes them easy to swoon over. I’d dare to say the straight couple who happened to get passes to the show but didn’t know the band had left as fans because T&S showed they were purely about music. Which is refreshing when so many shows rely on distractions.