Friday, March 12, 2010


So my friends have been bugging me for awhile to start a music blog so here it finally is! Pretty soon after meeting me, people know about my music obsession and my frequent concert-going. And I’m always attempting (forcing?) to get my friends to listen to the music I love. I tend to judge people by the music they like, which I’ve been told by some people is weird. But I think the music we listen to is often a reflection of our emotional state, our outlook on life and the way we see the world. So this space will be a place where I share the music I love through concert reviews, lists and some rants and raves. If I can turn one person on to some great music, then I’ll consider it a success!

First up…

Tegan and Sara
3/3: Copley Symphony Hall, San Diego

Part of the fun of going to see Tegan and Sara live is getting to hear the funny stories the two sisters share on stage that night. Their witty, longwinded banter is as much of a draw as their finely crafted indie-pop songs. I had seen them previously when they opened up for Death Cab for Cutie at the Hollywood Bowl, but they do much better in a smaller venue like this where they can create a more intimate setting for their fans. And that’s what they do: sing their intimate songs on love and heartbreak, while sharing intimate stories about say, their experiences at summer camp, the embarrassment of shopping for bras with their mom, and…pony farms?

It was a bit of “The Tegan Show” as she did a majority of the talking and sang a few more songs then Sara did. (The duo splits up songwriting duties, only assisting on back-up vocals on each other’s tracks live.) I prefer Tegan’s more straightforward emotional singer-songwriter songs to Sara’s more abstract punkier songs. My sister, who bought me the concert tickets as a birthday present, prefers Sara (to the point that we actually got into a 30-minute debate about it because, yes, we’re total music nerds). So after starting off with a few songs from their new dance-inspired album “Sainthood,” Tegan talked about how being on tour is like summer camp except for the fact that she hated summer camp and would call her mom and beg her to come get her. And how when she was growing up she dreamed of being in a band. “But not this band, like a cool punk band.”

The duo went on to play fan favorites from all of their previous three efforts, including their critically acclaimed and fan-beloved “The Con.” While they have a backing guitar/bass/drums band, they’re at the forefront, switching easily between guitar and piano. On arguably their most catchy song, the Sara-penned “Back In Your Head,” Tegan even pulled out the xylophone (!) while Sara sang. It’s such a perfect pop song that it’s a mystery to me why it’s not a radio hit, as mysterious as why the treacly Taylor Swift is beloved by millions.

Of course, Tegan and Sara are as eagerly beloved by their (albeit smaller) fan base. The audience hangs on their every word and shouts of “I love you Tegan” and “I love you Sara” were heard throughout the night. And then there were the overeager fans who threw bras and other apparel at the sisters (Tegan: “Do you think that I’m coat check?”). The bra throwing precipitated Tegan’s lament on the trauma of shopping for bras with her mom as a teenager and how having them thrown on stage brings back the shameful feelings. On a more upbeat note, Sara mentioned how they’re using the offending undergarments to make a quilt!

Before launching into the pretty “Call It Off” with the lovelorn refrain “Maybe I woulda been something you’d be good at. Maybe you woulda been something I’d be good at,” Tegan pleaded to the audience to stop screaming and sing-a-long instead. Sara: “Yes, less like you’re running away from bears and vampires.” But it’s obvious that they deeply appreciate their fans and that’s why they create such an intimate atmosphere. Before ending with fan-favorite “Living Room,” Tegan thanked the audience for continuing to come out and support them. “I want you to know that I never ever take it for granted…even when I’m on my pony farm dressed in diamonds.”

1 comment:

Kyle said...

Very nicely written. You sound like a dedicated fan to the sisters and music in general. I was wondering if you might find a moment or two to review two of my current favorite artists, although, as capricious as I am, they'll have changed by the time you review them. They are, Maria Callas, unfortunately though, she is dead and won't be able to read your glowing reviews, and Puerto Muerto, very much alive and kicking.
Muchisimas gracias!