Friday, November 30, 2007

A Review Of A Tegan And Sara Show From Someone Largely Unfamiliar With Tegan And Sara

Hi kids!

I attended last night's Tegan and Sara show at the lovely Portage Theater in Chicago. The show was sold out. What T&S megafan wasn't able to score a ticket so that my ignorant ass could be at their concert? I don't know. They weren't there. Bwahahahaha!

I stopped at my friend's house in Portage Park (he of the spare T&S ticket) and we had a beer. The opening act, Northern State, was set to start at 8:00pm. We weren't in a big hurry, so a little after eight we then drove the ten minutes it took to get to the theater, found a parking spot and ambled in.

The Portage is a nice old moviehouse, which in my opinion isn't the ideal venue for a rock 'n roll show (I prefer a wide open floor). Still, there was enough space in front of the stage for the hardcore fans to get close.

Unfortunately the Portage did not serve beer, but the man at the refreshment counter indicated that would soon change. No beer, at a rock concert? Oh, man.

We went to sit down for a little bit of Northern State, which turned out to be a group consisting of three female rappers, a guitarist, some preprogrammed keyboards 'n backbeats, and a live dude drummer. We soon got out of our seats and went down on the right side nearer to the stage, which gave us a pretty good vantage point for the proceedings.

Northern State reminded me a lot of the Beastie Boys. If I heard them correctly, one of the songs they played had actually been produced by Adrock. I didn't dig them entirely, but there were a coupla songs that sucked me in. And hey, the last song had a bunch of swearing, and reminded me very much of my pseudo-Buddhist chant, so that was nice. We probably caught at least half their set. They seemed to be appreciative of the Chicago crowd, and retroactively unappreciative of the Detroit crowd from the previous night.

Then it was time for Tegan and Sara to hit the stage. In the two days between when I learned I was going to the show and when the show took place, I managed to listen to most of their album So Jealous. It took me several songs into the concert to really start enjoying it. I don't know if it was them or me; odds are it was me. But by four or five songs into their set I was having a really good time (even without a beer buzz).

Here's their setlist, more or less:

Song
Song
Song
Song
Song
Song
Song
Song
Song from So Jealous
Song
Song from So Jealous
Song
Speak Slow
Song from So Jealous
Song
Song

ENCORE
Song from So Jealous
Song from So Jealous
Song
Song

There were several songs I really, really liked, most I liked, and some that were just okay. My friend knew every song but a couple, and had a very good time.

I thought their voices were their best feature. They were very beautiful, with nice harmonies, etc., and so strong. Tegan's voice seemed a little hoarse, though perhaps that's what it normally sounds like. I liked it either way.

Both ladies were very tiny, cute and endearing, smart and witty, and had a really nice stage presence, telling stories between songs throughout the show. As my friend said, you wanted to take them home to play with your children.

Sara seemed to be the more outgoing one, while Tegan seemed a little shy and more sensitive. If I took a fan-created personality quiz, I would probably be a Tegan.

The show was amazingly polite. At one point as Sara was telling a story, she noticed someone in front of the stage who had apparently fainted. She was very concerned, handing a bottle of her water over for the person, asking people to make room, asking for security to help, etc. I thought to myself, if this was a GWAR concert they would have just gotten a crossbow out and shot the fan in the heart. 'Cause that's what rock 'n roll is all about, motherf*ckers.

While this fainting drama was underway, a woman proclaiming herself a nurse brushed by me. She raised her hands and sauntered through the crowd. I thought to myself, "This is why she got into the healthcare field -- to strut through crowds at rock concerts during medical emergencies." As the fainter was being escorted to the side, Sara went into a story about how she had fainted onstage at Lollapalooza in Chicago during the past summer, which, if memory serves, was 160 degrees Fahrenheit that day.

So they finished their set, came back to do a generous encore, and then the show was over. Some members of Northern State were by the door hawking signed copies of their CDs as we exited the theater.

We headed out and had a couple beers at a nearby bar and that was that.

8 comments:

Dr. Zaius said...

Hmm... Was there any singing in the show?

dguzman said...

sounds like a mellow show, though the no-beer part would've sucked for me too.

omgasmurf said...

yea I was there on the right side. Fun show minus the booze and Northern State hating on Detroit (I'm from there)

Splotchy said...

dr z, I am perplexed by your question. T&S are all about the singing, man.

d, next time I'll smuggle in a bottle of peach schnapps and some chocolate hoho's.

omgasmurf, I don't remember seeing a small blue creature in my vicinity, but my eyes were mostly on the stage. Sorry for the Detroit hate you had to witness. If it'll make you feel better, I'll get Iggy Pop to pee on their van. Thanks for stoppin' by!

Kevin said...

I'm a T&S fan, meself, Splotchy.

Regards,

Tengrain

Ed Bannon said...

Hey, good review. I'm going to a show there soon. What bar did you go to after the show? Just wunnering. Thanks.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Tegan and Sara do have pretty good banter, don't they? Glad you enjoyed all the nameless songs.

You know, I actually never drink at concerts. Who needs to stand in line at the bathroom?

Splotchy said...

tengrain, barbara has hepped me to a lot of great Canadian music. If there's any you'd care to recommend, I'm all ears.

ed, I think it was Martini's over on Irving Park.

barbara, I dunno, for me beer and live rock music is like peanut butter & jelly.