Tegan and Sara LIVE review and photo by Neil Ward
Nov 30, 2008, 18:55
TEGAN AND SARA Henry Fonda Theatre, Hollywood, CA; October 19, 2008
In these foul days of mp3's, Auto-Tune, payola, and pop tarts lip-syncing to pre-recorded vocal tracks during live shows, it is a wonder that the faith of an honest music aficionado isn't so grizzled that said music audiophile wouldn't just throw their hands up in the air with disgust, and retire to a life of , well, at least nothing musically new.
The above fairly describes yours truly, yet the decade of my discontent with modern music and the acts that populate it was fairly shattered a couple Sunday nights back when I had the pleasure to see one of the few—at least in recorded music—bright spots in the landscape.
Enter the dynamic duo of Tegan and Sara, identical twins from Canada. They have been a favorite of mine for a couple of years now, but till now this was the first time I have seen them perform live. Now I'm not a lesbian, well, I am, but of the Johnson endowed variety, and I am not a tragically hip Hollywood type either (these, the two dominant factions of their following), but what I am is a fan of good music regardless of which corner of society or the world it may come from, and if an act can rock live all the better, and this is precisely what these grrrrls do. The songs they chose as their set, which they said was the same as the previous night, were clearly songs that their fans love, which says a lot about respect for the fans as well as not being so self-important as to use a concert to test new stuff, a deplorable trait that affects all genre of artists, famous or not. And that is, of course part of the appeal of the girls, the intelligence of their music, and of themselves. As to the show itselfâ€¦the girls were very funny, engaging and great at bringing the crowd into the show, which is what makes the show so much fun. Making matters all the more entertaining, every 3 or 4 songs in they would give these little anecdotal stories about themselves, their past or whatever and, 1986 Dodge Caravans aside, this is the facet of their performance that gave me a sense of being 15 again, at an all ages show, the soft reminder that the music, and then the feeling and joy you extract from a band IS what art—music specifically—is really all about. The way the two would slightly bicker onstage was also fascinatingly endearing, in a way which only siblings can do, especially twins. The cool thing about this show is that I felt part of it, I walked away feeling as though I had known the girls for years, and when I felt that way, I wanted to cheer for them, even with the warts, late vocal cues, missed notes (Saraâ€¦walking with the ghostâ€¦?) and it all made for an all the more incredibly HUMAN show that will go down as one of my favorites of all time.