Tegan and Sara‘s kickoff show for The Con X Tour might just be the most intimate, interactive, and personal performance I’ve ever witnessed.
As I settled in and took my seat inside the exquisitely antiquated Balboa Theatre, I quickly realized I wasn’t surrounded by your typical concertgoers. Whereas at most shows the line for alcohol is wrapped around the venue, Tegan and Sara superfans had a different agenda in mind: These passionate devotees lined up by the hundreds to purchase merch and signed copies of The Con X: Covers in support of the Tegan and Sara Foundation.
As fans waited in anticipation they chatted among themselves about the twins, referring to them as “T and S” as if they were old friends–to many they really are. The Con was written about “love, death, fear, and anxiety” and 10 years later it still resonates strongly with longtime listeners. Tegan and Sara said that when they released this record, it finally felt like they “hit an open stretch of highway” rather than “navigating winding mountain roads.”
Backed by guitarist Timothy Mislock and keyboardist Gabrial McNair, the band took attendees on a nostalgic ride down that highway, performing acoustic arrangements of each track on The Con in sequential order.
Between each song, they’d stop to share a story with the audience, whether it be about their stance on social media or their method behind deciding the album’s track order. Almost as intriguing as the variety of arrangements was the banter between Tegan and Sara; a back and forth communication that’s exclusive to the special connection shared only between twins. They shared pieces of themselves on a deeply introspective personal level while lovingly poking fun at each other. It was a highly entertaining comedic engagement intermingled with a musical showcase.
Their bond with each other seemed to contribute to their connection with their music and their fans. Sara shared her love/hate relationship with songs on the album. Her aversion stemmed from the depression she felt while writing them. Ten years later, the twins have grown musically and emotionally. The gloom they once felt in the past while performing these songs has now been replaced with pleasure in sharing them with their fans. Their hope is that the audience also finds peace from growing with these songs over time and hearing the album front to back 10 years later.
Tegan and Sara will hit musical capitals Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Austin, and more on the remainder of The Con X Tour. Should you find yourself at one of these stops, we highly recommend checking out this amazingly intimate show. Who knows? Maybe you too will find peace in the experience.