The Amp’s Editor in Chief, Caroline Doerhoff, could not have gotten a better cuatro de mayo present than watching these two crazy twins kick out the jams at The Pageant…

I’ve been a Tegan and Sara fan since my high school days, so when I heard that they were coming to The Pageant, I could not have been more STOKED to see them live. I refused to be deterred by their “Live at the Phoenix” EP, which made their trademark harmonies and unique voices sound…well, a little shrill. No no. It couldn’t be…I was determined to see for myself.

When we arrived at The Pageant, I was immediately struck by how young the crowd seemed. I mean, I’m tall, so I’m used to being able to see in most conditions…but these people were tiny. And their moms were there with them. In our spot above the pit, I spotted not one but two girls with their moms. I don’t know why I expected the usual crowd of twentysomethings, what with Tegan and Sara’s catchy, tight, melodies and popsensibilities, but for the record I was taken aback. (I was also startled by how many petite young girls could be rocking the fashion mullet pioneered by Tegan and Sara in the “So Jealous” days.)

The lights dimmed right around 8 pm, right on schedule, and girl-boy duo An Horse took the stage, and proceeded to thank us, the audience, for being so polite. Over the course of their 35 minute set, we were called polite maybe three more times, even after an audience member screamed either “You suck!” or “Cubs suck!” (the world may never know). Undeterred by garbled sports-related yelling, An Horse (also known as Kate Cooper of Iron On and Damon Cox of Intercooler and Mary Trembles) delivered a concise set of mid-tempo songs that sounded a lot like Tegan and Sara at their most earnest and straightforward…and plus a dude on the harmonies. Cooper joked with the audience about the ubiquity of sports fans between here and her native Brisbane, Australia, and their unfortunately short set was overall quite enjoyable. The lights came up again too soon, and the blond duo trooped off stage to considerably more applause than they garnered at their arrival. I’d say they won me over. Charming, really.

Tegan and Sara arrived onstage shortly after, bringing on the shortness as well as a backup band of three black-clad guys to fill out their sound. Without a pause, each shouldered a guitar and they launched into “I Know I Know I Know,” barely breathing between phrases as they sped through. I’ll admit that I was concerned that they would just power through all of their songs in this manner and the audience would be in the parking lot in 45 minutes. Luckily, I was wrong…and I’m glad I was.

Over the course of the next hour and a half, Tegan and Sara would deliver amazing renditions of the majority of “The Con” and “So Jealous” as well as a few from “If It Was You.” From their gut-wrenching version of “Call It Off” to crowd pleasers like “Back In Your Head,” they belted out songs they’ve probably sung hundreds of times like they were freshly written. I have to say that I was nervous to hear Sara’s voice live (see above comment about “Live at the Phoenix”), but I was greatly impressed by her vocals as well as Tegan’s. It really is remarkable that identical twins could sound so different, but Sara’s soprano and Tegan’s alto really blend together well, even live.

They seemed to genuinely enjoy themselves, taking time to indulge in witty banter that they seemed to enjoy as much as the crowd listening did. Topics covered included: unicorns, grade 3 boyfriends, hockey, boards with nails in them, Sara running down the streets of the city at night, and their mom. I could never do their dynamic justice…so I’ll let them do the talking themselves. Thank you YouTube!

talk of unicorns…

…and their mom

Overall, the concert was one of the most solid and enjoyable I’ve been to at The Pageant in a while, and I can’t remember the last time that I laughed so much at a show. I’ve been waiting for years to see Tegan and Sara in concert, and they definitely exceeded my (rather high) expectations.

But don’t just take my word for it on their performance…here’s “The Con” (thanks to weaverash01 for all of the videos featured here!)