Now, I say “review”, but really, it’s more like a dissertation/gush-fest. Be prepared.
Saturday, I was sporting a black eye, a canker sore that would fell a horse at ten paces, and a nasty cold that had turned my nose into a faucet of bodily fluid. I was minus a partner in crime. But nothing was going to stop me from going to the Tegan and Sara concert. NOTHING.
First, I bought two tickets because going to a concert by yourself is LAME. I’ll travel to foreign countries with my stuffed duck as my only companion but nothing makes you feel alone like a moshing crowd. Originally Ramxi was going to come with me, but Boss Lady guillotined the idea that two of us could get a Saturday off, thus including all my coworker/friends. I turned to Stephanie, but because of the Cookoff at Reliant, she couldn’t get off of work either. I guilted Cecilia into ditching her boyfriend’s mom, but she was guilted back into it. Finally I called Ollie, and we agreed to meet halfway at the venus, The Warehouse. She was not amused to hear she was so far down the list! I lack tact, as always.
We got there at 5:40, though the doors don’t open ’til 7, since it’s first-come-first-served, standing room only. There was still a decent line there, and a long line grew behind us. They made me to toss my water bottle and Dayquil before I could enter–fortunately there was only like one dose left anyway–and Ollie and I skirted the merch table to hit up the booze. I’ve heard reviews of the place say the alcohol was overpriced, but I don’t think $4.50 is that bad for well. We charge $5 at my restuarant, and have you tried to buy a beer at the Rodeo lately?
Ollie and I got a nice spot, about five people from the front, and a little to the side. I had also heard some people gripe about not being able to hear in the venue, so I was happy to stand by the speakers, just in case. After a rum and diet, we switched to beer, most of which I gave to Ollie. I needed to pee when I got in, but I decided not to break the seal. This felt like a good decision when, 30 minutes before the show started, we couldn’t leave our spot and hope to return.
The first opening band was Steel Train. They were pretty good, with upbeat, fun songs. Each member of their band had a different style, look-wise, so I randomly decided they were a punk-rock-emo boy band. Very fun, though.
Then came Holly Miranda. Her voice was out of this world, but her songs verrrry long, especially as I began to get uncomfortable feelings in my bladder. She had good sounds and the lyrics I could understand were pretty decent, so I think I’ll be checking her out more in the future.
Note: All of these pictures are copyright Tracy May. I found them at Ford Barsi’s concert review for them in Tampa. I, like an idiot, forgot my ancient camera at home.
Finally, Tegan and Sara arrived. They immediately jumped into “The Ocean”, the 10th track from their new album, and played 5 songs from that album in quick succession, bam bam bam, with cute little “Thank yous” in between. They’ve obviously been at this touring thing for a while now, as a tech would come swooping in with a fresh guitar between every song for Tegan, Sara, and Ted, or taking the guitars away for keyboard songs. It was very smooth and fast production.
Sara, bathed in light. As she should be!
The lights were done well, and happily, the sound was great. Sara enunciated her words very well so you could understand everything, which I hoped for more for Ollie’s sake than mine, since I know every word to every song like a proper obsessed fan. Since I was so close to them, I had to shift back and forth between the giant heads in my way, or those annoying cameras recording everything, but I still had a great view. I’m so used to seeing Tegan and Sara on YouTube, all I could think about was how good they look in real life HD! =3
Tegan singing her little Tegan-y heart out.
Now, something that most Tegan and Sara fans know is that the pair have extremely funny banter between songs. Tegan usually instigates, and sisterly ragging ensues as Sara either defends herself or dies of embarrassment. Example:
In that vein, I was a little disappointed. Not that they didn’t speak, but it was a lot less than expected. Maybe the crowd wasn’t giving them enough; I don’t think of Houston as a very interactive or demanding concert scene. But when Sara *requested* we stay for the encore, that just about made it up. They’re so cute!
The set list from their Twitter
After the initial block of new songs, they went into some old favorites: 5 songs altogether from So Jealous, 5 from The Con, and 2 from If It was You. I was actually surprised they did “Soil, Soil”. That might be Ted’s favorite, but I thought maybe “Burn Your Life Down” would have been a better fit. But then again, I sometimes have a major Sara bias. A note for the list is that there is a prevalence of Tegan songs, which tend to be more upbeat and more fun for the crowd, or at least that’s the acknowledgement that Sara revealed in a recent interview.
Also in a recent interview, the duo taked about how lazy they were getting in terms of playing their songs. Sara specifically mentioned how she was getting so many compliments on her song writing and career and such, but not on musicianship. And while T&S didn’t start wailing on their guitars or bustin’ out keyboard solos, I thought their playing was very professional, very polished-seeming. The reason we see T&S is not for that, so of course they wouldn’t want to overshadow the singing, so I can’t imagine anything more they could improve. But then again, I’m not a music pro.
Singing “Feel It in My Bones”, with the green like the music vid
During the encore, they sang an acoustic version of “Feel It in My Bones”, a song they did with DJ Tiesto. Here’s the official video:
And here’s a video of an acoustic version they did for Blogotheque:
Tegan & Sara – Feel It In My Bones – A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.
It really shows off their harmonies. Siiiiigh.
Anywho, we were all singing along at the top of our lungs for the whole concert. It was as if the mountain had moved to Mohammed and we were blessed to have them come to Houston. Tegan commented during “Where Does the Good Go” that we all sang it like either we were extremely angry or happy; either way, like we wrote it. So we sang a chorus by ourselves. Sounded pretty good!
Right at the end of the encore, I started feeling dizzy. Perhaps it was a religious fervor overtaking me. Maybe I was dizzy from my illness and not eating well. Maybe I was being poisoned by my holding in my pee for 4 hours. Whatever the reason, I had to crouch–a wierd thing to do in a crowd of people–to stave off the darkness edging my vision and consequently missed their exit. Fortunately there were some Youtube enthusiasts for that.
After finally using the facilities–somehow, there was still toilet paper–I decided to forgo the merch table’s excessive lines and spring for the Internet store later. Ollie said she enjoyed the show, but was a tired old woman and needed to go home. Piffle, I thought, it’s only 11! But some old fogies gotta get their sleep. I drove home in a T&S-induced high and went to my Dad’s to eat, then met Stephanie at IHOP to eat some more and show off my hoarse/sexy voice.
That night T&S tweeted, “Houston! Best show of the tour. Not just saying that either. Thank you! Xo t+s ” .
Hmmm, I’m still feeling little streaks of joy. It’s now in the bucket list to meet them. Also: meet them and not act insane. The latter one will be a toughie. =3