Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tegan and Sara @ The Palladium in Worcester, 10/4

A packed, impassioned Palladium welcomed the beloved Tegan and Sara last Saturday night in Worcester. The twins lived up to the hype and then some with their live act, a three-pronged attack of technical effects, the girls' famed back-and-forth, and their vast collection of infectious hits.

Rockers Girl in a Coma were the first of two opening acts. The trio from San Antonio's peformance was not unlike a Texas hurricane leveling everything in its path; together they manifested the passion and energy punk rock was built on, headbanging and all. Lead singer Nina's raw delivery of every syllable was simply undeniable, even when her vocal style made understanding lyrics difficult. She followed each song with a fervent "gracias" and then shifted back into crazed, raging rocker mode for a poweful set.

Acoustic singer-songwriter Dallas Green of City and Colour came out next, second on the bill. He had many fans in the crowd and his pure, wholesome vocals filled the room. Still, his somewhat one-note performance registered some notches below Girl in a Coma's unpredictable thrill ride.

Loud, moody bass sounds played over the PA after City and Colour's set; the eerie atmospherics built anticipation up to new highs while the tech. men prepped for the headliners. Then, out of nowhere, the noise gave way to the hopelessly catchy classic, "You Can't Hurry Love" by The Supremes. It seemed fitting that hook-happy T&S would give a nod to the original queens of the chorus right before they walked onstage.

The girls and their band played through most of 2007's The Con along with many past favorites from 2004's So Jealous, plus other random treats (like a cover of "Umbrella"). Every song seemed to be an event in itself; each carried a unique vibe with the help of different lighting schemes and special effects. The girls showed their knack for spontaneous storytelling by leading into some songs with an explanation of its origins. Between their tangents and witty jabs at one another, we laughed as much as we cheered. Topics included their father, ninjas & throwing stars, and Sarah Palin.

The crowd played an influential role, singing along to almost every song. Tegan and Sara fans are the passionate, screaming fans you see in movies (there was a line snaking around the building an hour before doors opened). The Palladium seemed to explode with the kind of love and enthusiasm you might expect at a U2 or Madonna concert. Tegan and Sara reciprocated that love by playing a long, charged set and just being their kooky selves, which worked for everyone.

- Jessy Bartlett

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