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.