Tegan and Sara
Let’s Make Things Physical Tour
A LocalBozo.com Concert Review
Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, NY
June 24, 2014
Concert Review: Tegan and Sara at Hammerstein Ballroom
The latest stop on the “Let’s Make Things Physical Tour” brought Canadian pop duo Tegan and Sara to a completely sold out Hammerstein Ballroom on Tuesday night, exulting roughly 3,000 New York area fans in the process. Though most of the audience certainly skewed heavily female, Manhattan has been among the strongest markets for the sisters in their decade plus stint of active touring- an act that has been steadily ascending for some time now, bringing them to larger and larger venues in the process. Tuesday evening would mark the band’s first time back to the Hammerstein since their opening slot for Cake back in 2006- but this time, the girls were the undoubted headliners, owning the stage for every second of their 21 song set.
Tegan and Sara have become culturally inspiring across a multitude of different platforms, which would help to explain their meteoric rise. The sisters, who have been touring since their late teens and are both openly gay, have lent their stature to many philanthropic virtues advocating for LGBT rights, homelessness, AIDS awareness and most recently, February’s “Amnesty International: Bringing Human Rights Home” showcase at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. But at the end of the day, it’s Tegan and Sara’s music that seems to hit so close to home for their impressionable fanbase.
In front of a massive light board with an argyle array of diamond shaped lights in varying colors, the band emerged to an uproarious response, flanked by the two focal points taking their respective positions on stage. “Goodbye, Goodbye” kicked off the show with what would be a good chunk of material from their latest release, 2013′s “Heartthrob”- nine songs in all. Backed by their four piece band, Tegan and Sara effectively mixed a very 80′s style of synthesized pop and rock music in this live setting with tracks like “I’m Not Your Hero” and “Shock to Your System” serving to punctuate the era’s official modern day renaissance.
Despite the affinity for their latest release on this recent run of dates, Tegan and Sara also brought out some of their older material like 2002′s “Monday Monday Monday” and later “Living Room,” where the pair donned an acoustic and electric guitar during the particularly folksy tune amid a sea of flashing lights. Other highlights included the slowly building “I Was a Fool,” the rallying and rocking chorus of “Now I’m All Messed Up” and “How Come You Don’t Want Me,” after which the house lights were turned up and the band received a standing (there was nowhere else to go) ovation.
Interestingly enough, the ladies wasted little time in bantering in between songs, often dropping a simple “thanks” as a show of their appreciation- aside from some purposeful moments of dialogue seemingly predetermined at different points during the show. The song “Closer” capped off Tegan and Sara’s main set to the delight of the now jam packed crowd, where finding ample space was becoming an increasingly challenging effort. In perfectly fitting fashion, the pair closed out their New York City performance, encoring with an 80′s classic, a throwback cover of Pete Townsend’s “Let My Love Open the Door.” In Tegan and Sara’s signature fashion, it was performed a bit slower, a bit more melodic, but undoubtedly in their very own vision. And the 3,000 fans in attendance couldn’t have been more on board.
- Jane Van Arsdale