You know what I lovelovelove? Watching live music. You know what I love even more? When I don’t have to travel to Vancouver to catch some of my favourite “big name” bands. Which is why, when Sarah & I found out that Tegan & Sara were coming to Nanaimo, we absolutely HAD to get tickets.
Taking place at the Port Theatre, almost everyone I talked to were shocked that a band with such stature as Tegan & Sara were playing in little old Nanaimo. It started to make a bit more sense as the concert got underway – Sara explained that as kids their family spent a lot of time on the island for summer vacation. I also did a little digging myself. It turns out the twins are playing shows on an upcoming cruise around the caribbean and, not having performed shows in a while, it looks like the two were playing a couple of small shows on the island to get back into their groove.
And in their groove they were! But first, I’d like to introduce their opening act. The Courtney’s are native to Vancouver and actually have a familial relation to Tegan & Sara. Going by the monikers Classy Courtney, Cute Courtney, and Crazy Courtney these girls play a blend of “fuzzy slacker pop” that brings you back to the early 90s, fun-in-the-sun, west coast days. Check out their music here!
I knew Tegan & Sara were the bee’s knees, but I never fully appreciated just how rad they are. Aside from their kicking vocals and melodic tunes, these girls are drop dead funny. After every third or fourth song, the girls would take the time to chat with the crowd, as most bands do. However Tegan & Sara didn’t just talk at the crowd, they interacted with us. It was nice because it felt like T&S weren’t just singing their hit songs at you – they made you feel included, part of the gang. They also handled hecklers with ease, grace, and wit. There was one man in the audience who took every song break to yell “CLOSER! PLAY CLOSER!”. It was ok the first (even second) time. But by the fifth verbal assault, Sara quipped, “Sir? You want me to play Closer? Well see, usually how this goes is we play our best song near the end so people don’t leave the show early”. The girls also provided great sibling bickering with Sara telling Tegan to stop busting her balls.
It was such a great show. So great, I compiled a little video to give you just a taste of what you missed (or to relive if you were there firsthand!):
I think this was HUGE for the Port Theatre to be able to bring in an act like Tegan & Sara, for a few reasons. One, it showcases great Canadian talent. Two, it brings the younger crowd into Downtown Nanaimo. Which, who knows, may bring them downtown for the arts more often. And three, with bringing an act like Tegan & Sara, it may pave the way to bring even more “big band” names to Nanaimo. It puts us on the map and says, “Hey. We can compete with Victoria and Vancouver too”. (Albeit, on a much smaller scale to start with!)
– Sean xx
(want to read more from Sean? check out her other posts here!)