TicketMOMster review: Tegan & Sara @ Centennial Concert Hall
I say that I’m open to most music, but I’m really not. Sometimes I’ll buy a concert ticket and I’ll stress myself to no end. Why? Because I’m buying tickets to concerts I’m pretty sure I’m not going to like. AND THEN I HAVE TO WRITE ABOUT THEM.
Don’t tell my Husband. He thinks I only buy tickets to shows I’m interested in and regularly has a stroke every time the MasterCard bill comes in.
Why am I doing this? Well, because we were in “musical purgatory” for a decade and I missed A LOT. On the one hand, I’ve heard the hype; on the other hand, I know almost nothing about what I’m about to see.
I know Tegan & Sara shot to fame while I was away, I know I had a friend who really liked them and I know they play pop music. I’m not a fan of pop music.
I love instruments and lots of them; keyboards and computers don’t do it for me. I have also heard their single Boyfriend on the radio and it didn’t reach me. It did however, reach my 5 year old and we cannot, under any circumstances, turn that song off if it comes on the radio.
So…I bought a ticket.
The whole way to the Concert Hall I kept repeating to myself: “Keep an open mind…keep an open mind…try and find the positives even if there are only keyboards on that stage…keep an open mind…”
I went through security, which was a first for me at the Concert Hall, and dropped into my seat. The stage was relatively small with sheets draped over what looked like way too many keyboards. My heart sank. Then I cheated a bit and Wikipedia’d Tegan & Sara. I discovered that they’re twins and they’re gay; which explained a lot about the Boyfriend song.
The stage went dark and a guy dressed in a black leather jacket and black baseball hat walked on stage. He started up his computer and played beats. SUCH an extreme test for my “keep an open mind” mantra.
Just then, a woman in a very sparkly teal outfit with tiny spandex shorts took the stage and suddenly things became a little more interesting. I was in the first balcony, but upon closer inspection I realized she had guy legs and when she opened her mouth, a deep voice came out.
Huh! Most interesting! I was witnessing my very first concert with a transgender frontman/woman.
The band was called Too Attached and singer Vivek, sang about relationships and breakups, but my favourite song was one about back stabbers. It was a harder song with a Middle Eastern vibe to it and Vivek sang and moved her arms around like snakes to the beat. It was really cool.
I probably wouldn’t buy any of Too Attached’s music, but I enjoyed their performance. I couldn’t help but fantasize about seeing Vivek front a full band; with horns and everything. THAT would be something else.
A few tunes into Tegan & Sara and I realized their songs reminded me of the 80’s. Heavy use of synthesizers would ordinarily turn me right off, but this felt different. I liked their voices, I thought their lyrics were great and the lighted floor was cool.
I also liked that they had an actual drummer on stage (Brendan Buckley), who played an interesting pattern on the harder Shock To Your System. The lighting was fantastic during Northshore, but it wasn’t until Walking With A Ghost that the crowd finally warmed up and got out of their seats…just in time for the acoustic portion of the set. Oops.
I really enjoyed Tegan & Sara acoustic, I thought they sang well and their songs moved me. They lost me a bit after the acoustic set, but the show was still good.
You can tell seasoned performers from those who are a little more green by their banter on stage. Tegan & Sara appeared to be VERY comfortable on stage and their banter flowed easily and was usually hilarious. I really enjoyed when they talked about being gay. There are so many different ways to live on this Earth and so much potential to learn. I’m always interested in people’s lives and experiences that I can’t necessarily relate to.
Boyfriend came near the end of the show with a few lyrics from Katy Perry’s I Kissed A Girl tucked into the middle of the song. Tegan & Sara introduced and gushed over their band (yay!) and then closed the set with crowd favourite Closer.
There was a three song encore and when the show ended, I stayed in my seat to watch Sara. She spent a good chunk of time talking to a blind, black man in the crowd. He spent most of his time dancing to their songs to the far left of the stage. I thought that was really classy.
This was their second show of this tour and I predict it’ll be excellent near the end. Even with the kinks of a new show, it was worth the money and surprisingly…I liked it.
TicketMOMster is a Rock and Jazz-loving Mom; single-handedly keeping Ticketmaster alive in Winnipeg. Follow her musical journey here: www.facebook.com/TicketMOMsters