Tegan & Sara @ Vogue Theatre, Vancouver; Sept. 23, 2012

To call Sunday night’s Tegan and Sara show at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver “perfection” would be a fallacy: Tegan forgot some lyrics; Sara missed a few lines; the sound mix could have been a little better, to name a few minor issues (I won’t even get into the adult fans acting like 12 year-olds…).

These imperfections, however, were exactly what I was hoping for.

Too often I’ve found a band or artist hits the stage, plays their hour-and-a-half set and begrudgingly engages the crowd spouting the most clichéd ramblings which have been heard by the common concert-goer for now the umpteenth time.  It’s all so practiced and rehearsed.

There’s an intimacy, vulnerability, or emotional rawness if you will, that comes with performing in front of a few thousand people, and while many performers shield the audience from this in an effort to appear “professional”,  Tegan and Sara welcome these personal, vulnerable moments with open arms.

They interact with their audience:  Sara explains to the sold-out Vogue crowd how they got on board with Morgan Page to do Body Work, before proceeding into the tune; Tegan gives cute summations of how songs—particularly the new ones—came to life, as if she’s just chatting with some friends (I had no idea Hell was written about Vancouver); Tegan admits she was distracted for an entire song worried that her shirt had drooped so low that her bra was showing (and the crowd goes crazy).

They want their fans to love their music: Tegan explains before Sara sings a brand new tune that Sara’s very excited to play this new song and wants everyone to go apeshit over it.  The song was good, and the crowd in fact went apeshit.  The whole evening.

These moments that were shared created one-half, or even two thirds of the entertainment value alone. But let’s not forget about the music.  The band opened with Arrow to a chorus of screams, cheers, wailings. They followed it up with the Walking With A Ghost—a tune that the White Stripes covered in 2005—and there was no turning back.  Playing a majority of songs from their 2010 album Sainthood and 2007’s epic The Con, the girls also threw in a few classics like So Jealous, Messed Up, Where Does the Good Go, and an absolutely stellar, rocked-up version of Living Room to close the pre-encore set. 

When Tegan announced that they were about to play a song that nobody else had ever heard them play live, the screams got even louder, not realizing this was possible.  This tune that setlist.fm is calling I’m Not Your Hero was pretty delightful.  Shortly after, the band jumped into the newly released Closer (I believe they played one other new tune, but can’t be 100% sure.) The new songs have a distinct pop vibe to them, perhaps more so than any previous work, yet they remain true Tegan and Sara songs; ones that fans will no doubt love regardless of artistic direction.

For the encore, the sisters came out minus the rest of their band to more screams, cheers, and wailings while Tegan strummed the opening chords of Dark Come SoonThe encore also featured Not Tonight which medley’d into Springsteen‘s I’m On Fire—nice.  They whole band comes back to rock out the dance-y Feel It In My Bones, a song they did with Tiesto back in 2009.

Yes, the show had some minor imperfections, but the authenticity exposed by those imperfections truly made the night memorable.  The gals from the Calgary sure have come a long way since the late ’90s release of Under Feet Like Ours, when their band name was Sara and Tegan, and yet they still haven’t lost touch.  Tegan resides in Vancouver, and although Sara now calls Montréal home, Vancouver seems to have a special place in both of their hearts and always will.

The fact that they kicked off their tour in promotion of their yet-to-be-named/released album in Vancouver says it all, really.

Set List: (via setlist.fm)

  1. Arrow
  2. Walking With A Ghost
  3. The Cure
  4. Hell
  5. I’m Not Your Hero
  6. Closer
  7. Body Work
  8. The Con
  9. Nineteen
  10. So Jealous
  11. Northshore
  12. Messed Up
  13. I Was A Fool
  14. Back In Your Head
  15. Where Does the Good Go
  16. Alligator
  17. Call It Off
  18. Living Room


  1. Living Room
  2. Not Tonight (with I’m On Fire medley)
  3. Feel It In My Bones


~ by DR on September 25, 2012.

2 Responses to “Tegan & Sara @ Vogue Theatre, Vancouver; Sept. 23, 2012”

  1. Nice review Dylan! I am currently plugging away at mine!

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