Who: Tegan and Sara
Where: Kool Haus, Toronto
When: January 20 2010
Double the pleasure, double the fun, double the lyric mistakes.
But what do you expect when Tegan and Sara play double the shows?
“I’m so sorry, we screwed up,” Sara quipped with mock sincerity.
“The front row will never forgive us.”
Wednesday’s show at the Kool Haus was the second of back-to-back sold out Toronto dates for the twin sisters originally from Alberta. The first gig took place at the famed Massey Hall the night before. Nobody seemed to notice or mind the admitted gaffes though, as the girls came out with guns blazing from their latest record, Sainthood. While the crowd was excited for classic pleasers, (Tegan promised older tunes like “Speak Slow” and “Call it Off”), they were just as happy to dance and mosh to new favourites “Don’t Rush” and “On Directing”.
Wait, mosh? Yes, some rowdy fans did actually try to start a mosh pit at a Tegan and Sara show to the concern of the band. This acted as a double edged sworded highlight for me because really, who starts a mosh pit at a Tegan and Sara show? Plus, it created a self-fufilled “that’s what she said” joke for Tegan in, “You can push, just don’t push so hard.”
To the delight of the fans in the front trying to enjoy the show without being forcefully shoved from behind, the aggressive person was kicked out with a friendly explanation, “See, you didn’t listen and now you don’t get to see the rest of the show,” followed by a really cute and almost sincere, “Bye bye!”
While the classics are always great to hear, it was the new songs that stuck out from Tegan’s tribute to Face to Face and other 90s punk acts in “Northshore” to the haunting and resonating lyric “I’ve got grounds for divorce” in “Night Watch”. Back into “Nineteen” from The Con, one girl got excited enough to slingshot her bra, decorated in deer and mushrooms according to Sara, onto the stage. This prompted an unexpected turn and presented a conversation to her sexuality.
“I’d like this bra on someone, but the person who this belongs to would be too young. I usually date older women, like fifty year olds…because I’m boring now.”
The mood got a little less rambunctious for the stripped down encore, involving just the duo without a supporting band. Sara lost her voice midway through “Call it Off” which prompted genuine sisterly concern from her other half. The crowd prompted them to finish the song from the top, but with compromise. Tegan relented only when the crowd sang the first two verses to her guitar playing and they didn’t do that bad.
Closing their set out and their Toronto tenure with “Living Room”, guys were escorting their girls while other girls were escorting their girls while others who saw their set at Massey simply left with a smile on their face. Despite a few setbacks, Tegan and Sara seemed to have enough momentum for another two Toronto shows. As for the crowd? I know they feel it, too.