Concert Reviews

Last Night: Tegan & Sara at the Palladium Ballroom

Tegan & Sara
Palladium Ballroom
February 25, 2010

Better Than: Watching the U.S. women's hockey team lose to Canada.

At the Tegan & Sara concert Thursday night, everything went according to my prediction. The Palladium Ballroom was nearly filled to capacity with mallpunks, lesbians and hipsters.

But I wasn't prepared for the combination of the three: The mallpunk-lesbian-hipster. It was a cornucopia of high drama, spiky hair, and poorly planned fashion decisions--and it helped fill the room with energy.

I got the feeling that a lot of these people were there to see their favorite band.

When Tegan & Sara kicked into their first song, "The Ocean," the lights projected pink beams through a bright green haze, and teenage screams filled the air. The sound was as perfect as any of the duo's recordings.

It was everything you could want in a concert, beautiful lights, a great backing band, and a connection to the audience.

As the show progressed, I realized that it wasn't just the backing band that was good--but Tegan and Sara, themselves, were spot on with their instruments. They layered their signature harmonies over well-played guitar and keyboard parts, but the technical side of the performance wasn't what sold the show. It was the audience connection. T&S took turns telling stories and jokes in between songs. Tegan even took several minutes to reference the amazing '80s surf movie, North Shore, while introducing a song of the same name, and the crowd loved every minute of it.

They really hit a groove when they started into the Cindy Lauper-esque, "Alligator." And the audience pogo-ed around to the pop-punk songs, "Speak Slow," and "Walking With A Ghost." Even the synthesizer got some love on "Nightwatch," and "Red Belt."

The energy level remained high until the start of the encore, when the girls announced that the remainder of the show would be an acoustic set.

Within a minute, the chatter on the floor almost overpowered the PA, which goes to show you that mallpunk-lesbian-hipsters have very short attention spans, maybe? The band came back out for one last song and sent the audience home happy.

I'm willing to bet that for a lot of the T&S fans at the Palladium, this was the best concert of their life. For the rest of us, though, it was really good too.

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias:
I only have one Tegan and Sara record, So Jealous, and I have to be in a certain mood to listen to more than one or two songs. But I enjoyed the concert.

Random Note: While in the long line at the bar, a girl asked me if the line was crooked. I looked around and said, "Yes, I think it is." She then replied, "Good, because I don't like to go straight," and she ran off laughing with her friends.

By The Way: Shout out to the guy behind me in line who quickly pointed out that it was a lesbian joke.

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Daniel Hopkins
Contact: Daniel Hopkins