I know I might seem a little crazy when it comes to music, but I have a friend who out-crazies me. The object of his affection, not to mention loads of frequent flier miles, is Tegan & Sara. In fact, this Madison show was show number 101 for him. He’s seen them so many times they recognize them, they wave, they put him on the guest list. Which is how he ended up with two extra tickets for tonight’s show. I have to admit I’d been curious as to what this band was like that they could inspire such devotion. So when he offered me his plus one I said sure, on the condition that I could leave if I hated it. He responded of course, and that leaving after four songs when it wasn’t your thing was “a time honored tradition.” I told another friend I was going, “I give you four songs,” he scoffed. What is it with four songs?
Not only did I not leave after four, or even eight songs, I stayed for the whole thing. And I enjoyed it. Granted, I likely won’t see them again, and I’m not buying their record. But it was a good show. To start with the petite Canadian twins are adorable; you want to put them in your pocket. They’re funny, and they tell great stories, and apparently they don’t repeat them. Sara had a hilarious bit about how disappointed her therapist must be whenever a new record comes out because they haven’t solved any of her problems. A story Nick said he’d never heard before. The music was mostly catchy, if occasionally a little two dance-y. In fact, there was a point when four different band members were playing keyboards, for a moment I thought I was seeing Erasure. Though they both sang about broken hearts, in general I liked Sara’s songs better. Though Tegan had my favorite song of the night (“Living Room”), which they did for the encore. I hear it’s a fan favorite.
Openers Speak were a gang of cute little boys from Austin who seem to have been adopted by Tegan & Sara. I mean little, as in young, really young. I was surprised to see the drummer take a swig of beer mid-set, since I was sure none of them were old enough to drink. After doing some shows together on the West coast, Speak had driven up just to play this show. If they were making standard opening band rate, I can tell you right now it wasn’t worth it. They played a dreamy pop reminiscent of the Gufs (a Wisconsin band who had a brief chance at stardom) and were certainly likeable enough. In a world where Justin Beiber is a huge star, it would seem they should do OK, especially with the boost they are getting.
Tegan & Sara