Today we are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the release of Tegan and Sara’s “The Con,” which means it’s a perfect time to travel back in time to November 19th, 2007, when Tegan and Sara played Webster Hall and Team Autostraddle was there. Autostraddle in its current form didn’t exist yet, but it’s important to note that three members of the founding team participated in this event and provided materials for this story: me, our Vapid Fluff editor Stef, and Carly, who used to write about TV for Autostraddle and now is A-Camp’s Special Programming Director.
Also in attendance: my vlog co-host and BFF Haviland, who was then in the cast of Les Mis on Broadway and wasn’t a fan of Tegan & Sara but was a fan of me leaving my apartment, our friends Vicky and Cait who we haven’t spoken to in years, and some gay male pals.
At the time I was faithfully documenting the exploits of my super-hot life on my personal blog Autowin, which had a moderately-sized but intensely committed readership, and of course a Tegan & Sara concert required a complete recap. So, what follows is our account of the concert as we wrote it in 2007, lightly edited and rearranged for maximum reading enjoyment, along with a few additions to actually communicate information about the show itself and not just our own personal lives. I have also included drawings Stef did for her own recap of the concert on her own very incredible blog, which she has since deleted from the internet because she’s unable to recognize her own genius. Luckily, she still had the pictures on her hard-drive.
Like this one:
This post was initially part of the roundtable but didn’t quite fit, and I was worried it’d be too personality-cultish to be entertaining on its own, but Heather Hogan has assured me, “I think this standalone recap works great. your intro set it up perfectly. i think it will be a treat for longtime readers and for newer people too.” So, there you go.
Tegan & Sara // Webster Hall // November 19, 2007
As recapped by Riese, Carly and Stef in 2007 for my then-personal-blog. We were in our mid-twenties then, we don’t drink like this anymore. If you’d like to watch videos of this concert, they exist on YouTube!
Riese: Monday night, Tegan & Sara of the band “Tegan and Sara” played at Webster Hall. Have you heard of them? I talk about them almost every day. They are two cute lesbian girl twins in skinny jeans and Converse shoes with killer musical talent, what more could you ask for? Seriously though, their music has gotten me through the past five months of my smokin’ hot life, including most notably July and August, which could’ve been a living hell and often was, but thanks to Haviland, Carly, Spashley, alcohol, and Tegan & Sara, often wasn’t.
Carly: The night started out like most nights: drinking.
Riese: Before the show we had a meeting of Team Awesome at Haviland’s apartment. Team Awesome, FYI, is Carly, Riese and Haviland. It’s a little intense to have meetings of Team Awesome because Carly and I talk a lot, and we’d already started drinking. We killed a bottle of wine between the two of us fast. (And that was before the bottle of wine we drank DIRECTLY from the bottle in Haviland’s hallway about an hour later, which is how we roll.) Sometimes being around us is like having front row seats to a kickass comedy show and sometimes it’s like being around two people who talk too much. Either way, we both have cute haircuts.
Carly: Riese and I almost single-handedly drank at least one bottle of wine (Stef helped, but I don’t really think she made as much of a dent as we did) and then Cait, Haviland, and Stef went to leave and Riese and I were sitting on the floor in the hallway, laughing (again, not out-of-the-ordinary in the least), so I should’ve known early on that this was going to be a good night.
Riese: First we had to go to McDonald’s so Hav could get fro-yo. She was like, “emergency, you guys, I need fro-yo.”
Carly: I know Riese wants me to talk about the performances and about the bands, and I’ll get to all of that soon enough, but first I’d like to point out that we got into a shouting match outside of McDonald’s over whether or not Cait had just driven past us (I WAS RIGHT). Moving on…
Riese: She was totally driving a different car than usual, it was white not grey, for one thing! Then I hung up on Vicky because I couldn’t figure out where we were meeting her and I have a very low threshold for phone conversations.
Carly: More drinking ensued. Stef is awesome and got all of us into VIP. All of us = 10 of us.
Riese: We had three V.I.P passes but we just swapped ’em out to get ten people in. Stef’s strategy.
Carly: We got to Webster Hall just as Northern State was starting. Well, actually first we went to the bathroom, which reeked of incense. Riese thought the bathroom was on fire, but the smoke was just the actual incense burning! Anyway.
Riese: The girls from Northern State are cute, they are really awesome live even though I don’t like listening to their CDs as much. They are so cute in their trackpants and sneaks with their raps!
Carly: I have loved Northern State forevs, back when I worked at Urban Outfitters and we got their first CD and Kai and Serena and I were the only people in all of Orlando, FL who liked them, so we played the CD constantly just to piss everyone off, and then this one time we were ringing some stupid boys up and they were like “this music is so awful” and we told them to shut up cause we were — in fact — the three ladies of Northern State, and we were really proud of our album. That shut them right up. Anyway, this was my second time seeing them, the first time was a few months ago at their CD release party also with Riese (thanks Stef!). They are so good live, sometimes I think that they are more awesome live than they are on CD. Totally energetic, totally awesome. They played some stuff from all three albums, but mostly new stuff (obvs) and they talked about how they met Tegan and Sara and how two of their songs were recently on Grey’s Anatomy (which I totally knew and totally told everyone like 20 times, which I’m sure was not annoying at all). Tegan and Sara are on Grey’s a lot too, and both bands were featured last week which was rad. Northern State was also in an episode of Damages, but I’m pretty sure that my family and I are the only people on the planet who have seen it. It’s really good! And it just got renewed for two seasons! Totally amazing show. Sorry, I’m off-topic. Anyway, Stef and I shouted lyrics at each other, much to everyone’s dismay. Then they were done and we drank more.
Riese: As the night went on, I drank more drinks. Some of these drinks, drank later in the evening, I remember only remotely how I obtained these drinks.
Riese: Guess who else was in the VIP area? Kim Stolz. We all admired her beauty in a way that was totally sophisticated and mature. Carly especially was a mature normal person, since she works with Kim at mTVu so it’s nbd. Vicky went over and talked to her for a while because Vicky, apparently, will talk to anyone about anything for any length of time ever. She’s like got social super-powers. Or not, I guess it depends on how you look at it.
Carly: Then! Tegan and Sara! Yeah! This was also my second time seeing T&S, the first being in Orlando a few years ago. They put on such an amazing show. Lots of adorable stage banter (and I know from adorable stage banter, as my former band —Sarah and Carly — was all about adorable stage banter, and we covered T&S’s “More For Me”). They are the two cutest people on the entire planet and I want tattoos like theirs.
Riese: I wanted everyone to jump up and down with me like we were at Kriss Kross concert. Did I succeed? A little.
Carly: They opened with “Dark Come Soon,” which is one of my favorite songs of theirs.
Riese: Then they did “Like O, Like H” and then “Floorplan,” which I mistook for “Living Room” for a second, because they’re both about architecture. You’ll find out later why this is relevant. Carly knew the words usually like I did. It’s because of her that I listen to Tegan & Sara, she played me all their songs and now I like them. That’s what friends do when they aren’t doing drugs.
Carly: They sounded amazing live and most of the songs they played were from “So Jealous” and “The Con” (I think they played the entire “The Con” album, or at least most of it, can anyone verify this?).
Riese: Apparently they did the entirety of “The Con” except three songs, as well as almost half of “So Jealous” and some other classic tunes.
Carly: Honestly a little bit of it is a blur still, which is a shame, but I had a great effing time.
Riese: When they played “Walking with a Ghost,” Haviland was like “Oh! I know this song,” and we danced a little. I have a lot of ideas about having fun fun fun fun! fun! fun! And maximizing experience. Also, sometimes i just lurk in the corner and whine that I’m ready to go home. Not this time! I was exciting! Excited! I haven’t gotten out much lately, but this was definitely one of my best concert experiences of all time! I don’t remember what songs they played, they were all good ones, they played “Nineteen,” for sure. Also when we thought they’d left the stage, I screamed “CLOSER TO FINE! play CLOSER TO FINE!” which is an inside joke you may or may not get. It’s a good thing I asked Carly to do a write-up for me, because my memories are foggy.
Carly: Their encore consisted of _________ (does anyone remember what song was first?) [ETA: You Wouldn’t Like Me, followed by Take Me Anywhere], then their AMAZING cover of “Umbrella” (apparently they did not play this in Orlando, I have no idea why).
Riese: I danced around a lot and got really excited when they played good songs. When they played “Umbrella,” I screamed and freaked out and said “This is the best moment of my life EVER!”
Carly: I kept saying “play Living Room. You guys, they’re totally going to end it on Living Room” because my former bandmate Sarah (see above) texted me at the show (after I texted her and said that the show made me miss our old band, obvs) and said that their last song in Orlando was “Living Room,” so I had some insider info.
Riese: Carly kept telling me how many orgasms she’d have if they would play “Living Room.” I thought it’d be really funny if when they started playing “Living Room,” if they ever did play “Living Room,” for me to tackle Carly to the ground, but in a playful “I’m going to jump on top of you” way. Did I succeed? I think I did.
Carly: When “Living Room” came on I SCREAMED like a schoolgirl1 and then everything was a blur. What I can piece together was that Riese screamed too, jumped on me and we went crashing to the ground. My head nearly went through a glass table and all of our combined weight landed on my pointy little elbows.
Riese: Most people thought it was an accident and worried I’d hurt myself, but to these people I’d like to ask — what could my “intent” have possibly been when I lept onto Carly from my post high atop the area? Unfortunately I forgot that, unlike me, most people don’t have a ridiculously high threshhold for pain, let alone find it thrilling.
Carly: Needless to say, they are totes achy right now. But it was totally amazing, I was so drunk it hardly stung, just a massive rockstar moment.
Riese: Carly’s elbows will definitely heal, as will my ankle, which I twisted on the street way later but totally played off so no one knew about it, including me. I was mostly drunk enough to forget until I woke up in unbearable pain later and every 20 minutes all night long.
Carly: Compared to seeing them a few years ago in Orlando, I think this was just as good. It’s hard to say, really, because the show in Orlando was at The Social which is a much smaller venue and I was close to the stage and could see them really well. They completely rocked at this show, and speaking as someone who has been a fan since the “Under Feet Like Ours” / “This Business of Art” days, I am just thrilled to see the transformation that has occurred over the course of their career. They started as a small folk-rock duo and have turned into total effing rockstars, which is completely badass. I fully love them.
Riese: Seriously, also, every time I think about the “Living Room” incident, I LOL. Re-reading Carly writing about it just now I LOLed again. I actually LOLed at the gym when it popped into my head again, even though I was reading an article about this woman getting murdered.
Carly: Oh! I forgot to mention that ONCE AGAIN, due to the awesomeness of Stef, I got to meet Hesta and Spero of Northern State and Sara of Tegan and Sara. You rock, Stef! There was a lot more that happened, but I’m sure Riese is going to cover it, or we are going to omit it entirely, because we have to leave some things to the imagination, ya know?
1 Interesting choice of words here because The New York Press, in their kind of annoying review of the show, stated: “The Canadian twins put on an inspired, raw and gratifyingly lengthy show and by the time they reached the title track from [The Con], the packed house was bouncing in waves and screaming like schoolgirls.”