By Niki D’Andrea
Better than: A double-shot of whiskey with the Doublemint twins.
Twin sisters Tegan and Sara Quin spread their musical wings on their sixth (and latest) album, The Con, adding a bit more depth to their arrangements and increasing the potency of their New Wave/indie pop/freak-folk cocktail. But it’s their onstage banter that’s garnered them the most attention lately. It provided the angle for a recent story on the sisters by The Associated Press, and even Sara had to talk about how much she talks onstage at the duo’s gig in Tempe.
Click to see a slide show of photos from Tegan and Sara at The Marquee Theater
Her story started with her telling the audience that they’d played the Coachella festival recently, on the same night as The Verve, and that front man Richard Ashcroft was so stoic and reserved. “It got me thinking about how we are, and how much I talk on stage. I gotta knock that shit off.” But then the story morphed into a joking confession about how Sara has a “man crush” on Ashcroft (both sisters are lesbians). “I wanted him to love me,” she said with a laugh. “Not like love me love me, but to tell me his thoughts and stuff.”
Later, before playing “Floorplan,” Sara recounts how she and Tegan stayed at some swanky hotel in Phoenix the last time they had a few days off. “We stayed where everybody else was in their bikinis and driving their Ferraris to the hotel. People who drive Ferraris aren’t really my people…this one goes out to everyone in this city who drives Ferraris.”
The banter was sandwiched between some stellar songs, which everyone in the crowd seemed to know and sing along with. Even when Tegan forgot some of the lyrics to “The Con,” the crowd didn’t miss a word. (Later, before performing “Call It Off,” Tegan shared a story with the audience about how a group of people down front at another show were screaming out the song horribly off-key, even going so far as to do a hilarious imitation that had Sara in stitches over by the keyboard).
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While the sisters switched off on guitar, keyboards, and lead vocals, their backing band – guitarist/keyboardist Edward “Ted” Gowans, bassist Shaun Huberts, and drummer Johnny Andrews – provided a solid, faithful base for the sisters’ harmonies, and made songs off the new album (like the haunting “Relief” and the psyche-rock number “Like O, Like H”) sound like well-worn and loved material.
Over the course of 90 minutes, Tegan and Sara managed to play several songs off The Con, as well as tracks from their previous album So Jealous (including “I Bet It Stung”), and tell countless stories to the crowd. The sound was good, the show sold-out, and there were too many lesbian couples making out in the crowd to count. Well worth the $25 general admission price.
Random detail: Tegan and Sara’s merchandise includes handmade scarves.
Personal bias: I really hate the limited parking at the Marquee Theatre. Any time a show here is sold out, you can pretty much count on parking across the bridge somewhere and walking a mile to the venue.