So last year I started to listen to a band that many people I know love and adore called Tegan and Sara. I have to be honest in saying all I knew about them were that they were twins, they were women, they were from Canada and they liked walking with ghosts. In fact in early 09, late 08, if they walked by me, chances are I wouldn’t have even batted an eye. Other than remarking at the fact there were twins that passed by me, and I don’t see twins very often in my duration on the planet. And really people, who does? It occurs once in a blue moon. Maybe twice... So on the 17th; I trudged on after work to the Warner Theatre in beautiful downtown DC, ready to hear them perform.
The relationship these two twin sisters have with their audience is incredible. And the fact that they turned off the stage lights, and had the house lights turned on so they could see all of our faces were pretty amazing. Not too many bands do that. In fact, NO other band I’ve ever seen time and time and time again, has ever done that. It really means a lot to them that fans love their music and are supportive. And even with the size of the Theatre being pretty spacious, Tegan and Sara made it pretty intimate as possible. Total eye contact, responding to things the fans shouted out, including myself (I said “olden” out loud to which Tegan responded to), and pretty colorful stories about growing up as twins made it for a fantastic evening. The audience (myself included) ate it up. It felt like friends were watching fellow friends on stage…friends who they had seen grow in front of their eyes musically and stylistically (do a google search of Tegan and Sara pictures over the years..It’s like a complete transformation.)
They were definitely beyond friendly, discussing with the audience topics such as the white house, DC’s snowpacalpyse, and the tick that apparently Tegan has for having a tendency not to remember lyrics. And trust me, if I had a catalog of tunes that was as big as theirs, I wouldn’t remember half of them eitiher. Tegan and Sara delivered and then some. You could really and truly see the progression in sound from their early songs as “You Wouldn’t Like Me,” “Speak Slow,” “I Hear Voices”, to “Paperback Head,” ” The Con,” “Nineteen (a DEFINITE FAN FAVORITE),” to “Hell” and “On Directing,” among lots of others.. What was once acoustic sounding pop with a wee bit of folk has now changed to electric, keyboard heavy, and percussion heavy dance tracks in some aspect. But the lyrics about love and heartache, isolation, and divorce are just as powerful as ever. The three guys in the band, Ted, Shaun, and Johnny, were ALWAYS on point as back up to provide the weird quirky sounds from the bass and drums, to laughter in support of Tegan’s ramblings (of which there were many, followed by reassurance by Sara, that she’s ok). I admire Sara, who I’ve dubbed, “The Peanut” because she’s tiny in stature but has this loveable ability through her heartfelt lyrics to drag you in and make you want to give her a hug. And...Her head is shaped like a peanut. I don’t know how she can see through her hair, but that’s for a different blog. Tegan can go on and on and Sara just stands there, waiting to interject her two cents. It’s amazing these two can put out albums and still make it work. Just.. Amazing. And Tegan I’ve named Gans because...It’s just funny to me. Gans and the Peanut.