Tegan and Sara Quin – of the Canadian duo Tegan and Sara – pride themselves on having an eclectic audience. Anybody at their Jannus Landing show Wednesday night would definitely agree.
“We play that sort of funny middle ground, ” said Sara Quin. “I see that looking out at our audience every night. There are alternative college kids, hoochie girls who heard us on Grey’s Anatomy or MTV, the dudes wearing slayer shirts and then the parents.”
The identical twins released their fifth album, The Con, in July 2007. The album was co-produced by Chris Walla from the indie-rock super-group Death Cab for Cutie, and debuted at No. 34 on the Billboard 200.
Playing at an outdoor venue like Jannus Landing in St. Petersburg was a refreshing change for the Quin sisters.
“It’s so nice playing outside because it doesn’t smell like pee or beer,” shouted Tegan Quin.
Northern State, a Long Island trio of female rappers, took the stage first and played songs from their new album Can I Keep This Pen? The group, which has worked with the likes of Adam “Adrock” Horovitz from the Beastie Boys, is made up of emerging talents who promote activism by providing voter registration forms at their merchandise tables.
The minute the Canadian wonder twins took the stage, the crowd quickly coalesced, resulting in massive amounts of drink spillage. Before the first song could take off, Sara stopped after a minor slipup.
“Usually I save my mistakes for later in the show when everyone is drunk, but I thought I’d get this one out early,” she joked.
The rest of the show went off without a hitch. The girls have a certain magnetism onstage that can’t be denied. It was enough to cause a couple of women in the audience to take their bras off and fling them around in the air.
With the huge party that they promote while performing, it would make sense for the band to continue the festivities after the show.
“I think our fans would be disappointed if they knew what we did for fun on the bus,”said Sara Quin.
Expectations of groupies and drugs are not fulfilled with this band. Instead, “people would be surprised to get on our bus six out of seven nights and find us in our pajamas, watching Arrested Development DVDs and eating peanut butter and jam sandwiches,” Sara Quin said.
Since their audience is so diverse, the fairly straight-edge lifestyle they promote while on tour appeals to many of their fans.
“We have so many young fans, it’s not fair to get up and be drunk on stage,” Sara Quin said.
The Quins are able to make every experience comfortable and personable, whether ininterviews – which are more like conversations – or their shows. Between songs, the sisters provide witty banter and quirky anecdotes about their past.
Tegan Quin even apologized for staring at several members of the audience because it was “something new I’m trying-please don’t get creeped out.”
Tegan Quin’s new practice was inspired by a previous show where a fan commented on the sisters’ lack of eye contact and connection with the audience.
After an enjoyable set and encore that included one of their more recognized tracks, “Walking With a Ghost,” the band left the stage looking forward to a fun-filled evening of reading and jam sandwiches.