Concert Review: Tegan and Sara at the Pageant, April 2, 2010

Having seen Tegan and Sara previously in 2008, I knew a few things going in that were going to happen. Those things? Great stories and great songs. The twins rival the hilarity of Ryan Adams’ banter when they delve into their past . Their appreciation for and interaction with the audience have made Tegan and Sara what they are today — a band on the rise.

After a three-song introduction from their acclaimed new album Sainthood, Tegan offered the first story of the night — one that became a theme throughout the remainder of the show — a tale of their bowling outing the previous night and the insight that Tegan is still just like her loud, younger self.

Intermingled with the stories, of course, was a catalog of moody songs (“Sainthood” and “The Con”) and acoustic pop (“So Jealous”). While the material for the Quin twins is sometimes bleak, especially on the subject of love, they kept spirits high with more between-song stories of their eclectic past.

Also worth mentioning is Tegan’s discussion of the duo going through therapy with a sports psychologist during their early career; the therapist apparently had a fancy Web site containing a picture of her on a horse — yes, a horse. That story scored big laughs and cheers. While stage effects were minimal in their previous show at the Pageant, the twins added some serious mood to the atmosphere with new lighting rigs that bathed the sisters and their backing band in waves of purple and red hues.

An idea that has become somewhat rare is the acoustic encore, but Tegan and Sara were kind enough to perform one, putting a new spin on the undeniably catchy “Back In Your Head,” featuring Tegan on xylophone and Sara keeping tempo on acoustic. It was a fitting way to wind down the evening with a singalong echoing throughout the Pageant.

I can say that while they may be supporting Paramore on the upcoming Honda Civic Tour this summer, I can only hope their new, wider audience is deserving of their quirks and talents.

Photo courtesy of jthees on Flickr.

Set list (per

1. The Ocean
2. On Directing
3. The Cure
4. You Wouldn’t Like Me
5. I Bet it Stung
6. The Con
7. Nineteen
8. Northshore
9. Night Watch
10. Red Belt
11. Soil, Soil
12. Monday Monday Monday
13. Where Does The Good Go
14. Speak Slow
15. Walking With A Ghost
16. So Jealous
17. Hop a Plane
18. Alligator
19. Sentimental Tune
20. Hell

Back In Your Head
Dark Come Soon
Call It Off
Living Room


  • Jason

    I have purchased tickets TWICE now to see Tegan and Sara–and both times something terrible happens. I love their records and have heard only good things about their live shows.

    I nearly made it this time…but I only got to the intersection of Delmar and Skinker before tragedy struck.

    Thanks for filling me in on what I missed…this time.