Tegan and Sara @ the Paramount TheatreBy | October 17th, 2008 | No Comments »
Tegan and Sara’s voices mingled masterfully at the Paramount on Monday. Photos by Laurie Scavo.
I wanted to not like Tegan and Sara for a long time. No reason whatsoever — they were just a random band I decided to not ride the hype wave for (granted, that hype wave had been moving at a gentle pace for the last five or six years.) Much like MGMT, TV on the Radio and even Interpol, Tegan and Sara fell on the side of music I unreasonably discriminated against, usually because too many people I knew thought they were amazing. It was as if they were too good to be any good.
But with all things I love, I must hate them first. And my unfounded hatred for Tegan and Sara finally melted away completely on Monday night at the Paramount Theatre, turning into total admiration.
As I walked into the venue around 8:45 p.m., I could already hear Tegan and Sara’s gorgeous voices echoing through the theater. (I knew I was late, but not aware that a headlining act would start before 9 p.m. I was wrong.) Although I missed the first few songs, luckily I didn’t miss much of the show.
As Tegan introduced “Living Room,” she misnamed the album it was on, but turned the flub into a joke, which played out in cutesy banter between her and Sara. After “City Girl,” Tegan reminisced about a time before the Internet, when you could date a person and not be able to Google them, giggling then stating that she’d prefer to just date a cavewoman.
Tegan and Sara’s voices intertwined perfectly through songs like “Not Tonight” and “So Jealous,” the dynamic of their virtually identical but unique tones ringing out flawlessly. They continued to talk to the audience like a small group of good friends about politics, being on the road and their mother’s penchant for YouTube, slowly getting to “Like O, Like H” and “Love Type Thing,” the audience enjoying their conversation as much as the music.
When the giant, obnoxious stage lights weren’t blinding the crowd, gentle strings of Chinese lanterns glowed perfectly behind the pair and their three-piece backing band. It had me wishing it was the much more intimate Gothic Theatre, where I first saw them.
Tegan stumbled through the first verse of “I Know I Know I Know,” stopping the song momentarily, Sara cutely prodding her sister to start again, followed by a sparkling rendition of “Where Does the Good Go,” which became a full-on crowd sing-a-long.
The encore came more as a second act to their show, beginning with Tegan and opener Dallas Green of City and Colour coming on stage for a duet of “The First” before the rest of the band re-joined. “Relief Next to Me” found the sisters’ voices fighting beautifully over verses. After a brief introduction to the band, they finished the evening with “Back Into Your Head,” leaving their polite and sweet crowd seemingly happy with their full set.
When I sat down to write this review, my intention was not to highlight the fact that Tegan and Sara are twins, or Canadians, or lesbians. All too often, these factors seem to overshadow their talent, making the sisters almost seem like a novelty. Luckily, their ability to craft intensely personal love songs and sing them with beautiful and honest voices overpowers those surface things, and the at-capacity venue reflected that.
Laurie Scavo is a Denver-based photographer and regular Reverb contributor.