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Concert Review: Girls Swoon for Fab Two at Fox Theater Oakland March 5, 2010

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I was so silly to bring my earplugs for the loud music. Two thousand eight hundred screaming ticket holders welcomed Canadian duo Tegan and Sara like the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show. Representing the minority of their fanbase, I was maybe the only heterosexual male not towed across the floor like a water skier by his girlfriend.

The madness began at the BART station. I’ve never witnessed such visible excitement for a concert. Nervously excited, girls squeezed through turnstiles as quickly as possible. They yelled back at their friends, fully prepared to leave them behind should they get pinned between closing gates.

Sitting in the front row of the balcony, I watched a crowd of mostly college students swarm beneath golden statues resembling a Hindu god. Wanting to enjoy every second of this night, they cheered for garage rockers Steel Train and new waver Holly Miranda. Then Tegan and Sara provided a smooth 90 minute performance. Moody, dynamic lighting amplified the emotions.They played tunes largely from their last three albums, including most of their newest Sainthood. Compensating for their briefer than normal banter, Tegan and Sara squeezed in a lot of hit songs, including a four song encore that included an explosive rendition of “Living Room.”

Given the number of people in the crowd, it took a very long time for everybody to start jumping up and down. Oddly, fans yelled between songs, but when their heroines strummed guitars and played keyboards, they stood near motionless. I felt self conscious about my head bopping which scared me a little.

Way too many fans busied themselves capturing shake-free Youtube video with their IPhones. Perhaps noticing the inhibition, the girls onstage pointed the spotlights at the balcony and made everybody stand up and do “the wave.” Playfully, they warned those standing in front of the stage, they would publicly embarrass them next. Finally towards the finale, they received two standing ovations. It seemed a little late to me.

A couple of crazy moments materialized, however. A small group of ravers lost control of their glow-sticks, one of which sailed past Sara’s head. This lead her to ask the crowd, “If you are deciding to throw something at me, make it something soft, like a gerbil, that I can bring with me on the bus.” Tegan suggested money. Then someone threw a fake flower, freaking her out because a beer cup flew at her earlier. She also warned a drunken lady who’d been air groping the duo the whole time that she could fall over the railing. The majority of the Bay Area fan club, lacked enough physical energy . Still, this was not enough to detract from an amazing show 


Tegan and Sara's Myspace page.

Tegan and Sara's official website.


Tegan and Sara's new video for "Alligator"


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About Kevin Gustafson

  • Jennifer

    Sounds like you enjoyed the show! I was in the front row of the balcony as well but off to the left. Loved them, but can’t necessarily say the same about the crowd. Thanks for the review.

  • odd title choice as there are a couple of bands that have the name Fab Two

  • Yeah, oops. I just googled it and found a Beatles cover band. My article is sandwiched between their home page and Facebook page.

  • actually that Facebook page is for an Italian duo

  • Geez, Homer Simpson “d’oh”. As for the balcony, all I can say is who sits the whole time at a rock concert? Also, I read another review where they said the front row was basically emotionally paralyzed by Tegan and Sara. One was whispering “I think I’m going to cry.” That’s both funny and cute at the same time. Loosen up! Still I loved hearing the songs sung live with great energy.