Review: Tegan and Sara at the Culture Room

Tegan and Sara

November 13, 2007

The Culture Room, Ft. Lauderdale

Better Than: An aimless drive – but not by much.

The Review:I didn’t wanna dig Tegan and Sara’s Culture Room show Tuesday night – I

expected to. In fact, I’d never even considered anything otherwise. I mean, I dug the duo from the first. Hell, would I go over rivers, through hoods and up an Interstate for an act I didn’t dig?

Apparently a slew of South Floridians thought likewise, ‘cause Culture was packed. And if the crowd skewed a little youthful and a lot female, well, that only made the anticipation that much more heady – and all the more disappointing when the gals from Calgary were nothing but one

long-drawn yawn.


On wax, or pod, or however else you’re listening, the twins are all sparkle and quirk. The shine of some newly polished Cars, the sheen of some angst-ridden Raincoats, the stretch of lo-fi Elastica. They may be second-generation riot grrrls, but they’re riot grrrls on a radio holiday.

Live T&S, are as earnest as A-grade undergrads – and twice as dour. Serious about their songcraft, studious about their strumming, determined not to miss a note low or high, they actually play the whole of their latest album, The Con, from beginning to end. “I Was Married” leads to “Relief Next to Me” and so on, all the way through “Like O, Like h.” And while that might’ve been a nice idea on paper, live it’s like watching someone take a test.

Or worse – watching a band rehearse. Maybe the girls don’t want the world to confuse them with Avril or Ashlee or any of the other shiny new objects which pepper pop’s landscape, maybe they were just in a bad mood, but there’s nothing wrong with entertaining those who’ve trekked out to see you.

Oh, and Sara, the next time you wanna lecture us about our dirty car culture, do it when your tour bus isn’t outside spewing fumes into the air.

So, no, I didn’t stick around to hear the encore of their semi-hit “Walking with a Ghost,” never mind the cover of Rihanna's "Umbrella" they’ve reportedly been playing everywhere they stage. I did however get up this morning and re-listen to bootleg versions of both, and, sad to

say, seems I didn’t miss much. Still dig their records though. – John Hood

Personal Bias: I could listen to “Nineteen” till I’m ninety-nine.

Random Detail: The crowd was more vibrant than the girls or their bland band.

By the Way: Tegan and Sara’s “I’ll Take the Blame” EP hit iTunes yesterday.

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John Hood