Twins on twins

Mar 31, 2010 at 12:00 am

While lesbians of yore had icons such as Melissa Etheridge as their go-to music idols, today's young women are totally gay for Tegan and Sara. Not only do they have hipper haircuts, there's two of 'em. The Wonder Twins headed to the Royal Oak Music Theatre last week to check out the only set of twins — apart from themselves, that is — people might be able to name who aren't directly associated with the porn industry.

D'Anne: This marks the third time I've seen Tegan and Sara live. Things have certainly changed since they were a little folkie duo hamming it up, opening for Rufus Wainwright at the Magic Bag in 2000. Their hair has especially changed.

Laura: This was the first time I've ever seen them, so I don't have anything to compare their hair to.

D'Anne: Their hair has pretty much changed with their music. I think they do a coif revamp for each new album.

Laura: Well I certainly did see a lot of what seemed like Tegan and Sara-inspired haircuts at the show. Also faux-hawks. Are faux-hawks the new mullet for lesbians?

D'Anne: The mullet is the haircut of the oppressed, Laura. Lesbians. Native Americans. People who shop at Gibraltar Trade Center. Respect it.

Laura: Whatever you say. When we got to the Royal Oak Music Theatre, it was totally packed for the sold-out show.

D'Anne: It was super crowded. And hot.

Laura: Now you just sound whiny.

D'Anne: I'm just trying to report the facts!

Laura: Sadly we missed the first opening act — Holly Miranda, whom I really wanted to see.

D'Anne: Me too. She's originally from Michigan, and her new record, The Magician's Private Library, totally gets the Wonder Twins stamp of approval.

Laura: We did get there in time to see the second band on the bill, though — Steel Train.

D'Anne: Yeah. Their target demographic seemed to be girls who find Dashboard Confessional a little too "punk rock." They were really cute, though — like an emo New Kids on the Block meets Maroon 5 and the Strokes. Five guys. Five different possible locker posters. Collect 'em all!

Laura: Wait — Maroon 5 is an emo New Kids on the Block! So that's kinda redundant.

D'Anne: Fine. What I liked about them was how happy they seemed. They were clearly having so much fun during their set. What their songs lacked in dynamic range, they made up for in enthusiasm.

Laura: Whatever you say. I can't get past their bad band name! Steel Train sounds like the name of some terrible reggae cover band that would play at a bar that serves hot wings.

D'Anne: Well, anyway, after their set, the place was buzzing with anticipation for Tegan and Sara's set. Every time a roadie walked on the stage, people would pee their pants.

Laura: Speaking of peeing — didn't you say there were snacks in the bathroom?

D'Anne: Yes. It was unlike anything I've ever seen. But not necessarily in a good way. Right when you walked into the bathroom there was a table next to the sink with a box of snack-sized Fritos and stuff on it. Next to the box was a bowl of old-people hard candies. And in the middle of the table was a handful of dollar bills. These were either tips for the bathroom attendant or an "honesty-style" snack table in the same place people were relieving themselves.

Laura: I can't support that. There's some truth to that crude expression about not, you know, defecating where you eat your snacks.

D'Anne: Also lined up along the mirror were every beauty product you'd expect to find in your trashy aunt's bathroom during the '80s — White Rain hairspray and mousse, Jergens lotion. Possibly a bottle of Nair.

Laura: Maybe this bathroom setup and product array is part of the Tegan and Sara rider. They insist their fans have the ability to do faux-hawk touch-ups throughout the evening.

D'Anne: When Tegan and Sara finally came onstage, people went krazay.

Laura: We were standing near the sound board — and from that vantage point, the twins looked more like 14-year-old boys than 30-year-old women.

Laura: They had a full band, several lavender and lime-green stage lights, a back drop. ... Then they plowed through a chunk of songs from their newest album, Sainthood. At least that's what they said when they finally took a moment to address the crowd. I thought it was just one long song.

D'Anne: Their new stuff does kind of tend to sound the same. It kind of felt like a very extended remix of their single, "Hell."

Laura: Honestly they sounded like Missing Persons to me. I kept expecting them to bust out "Walking in L.A."

D'Anne: That actually would've been really awesome.

Laura: After their opening set of new material, Sara started talking to the audience. And explained they'd now be playing some old stuff. Which made the crowd very happy.

D'Anne: Most of the stuff they played next was from The Con and So Jealous, their last two albums. I was hoping for some oldies from This Business of Art or Under Feet Like Ours.

Laura: Sara talked a lot.

D'Anne: Yes — lots of stage banter. They actually have quite a reputation for their stage bantering. Although this show mostly featured Sara's ramblings.

Laura: Yeah, she talked for a really long time about Phil Collins' "Groovy Kind of Love." That song played an important role during her formative years. I think she also said she wanted to slow dance with Phil Collins.

D'Anne: I don't think that's what she said. I think she wanted to slow dance with her best friend to Phil Collins. Or her stuffed animals.

Laura: But in the end, she said the whole thing was kind of gay. Or something. I don't know. It was a long story.

D'Anne: I get the feeling from listening to their songs that they've both dated some crazy bitches. I like a lot of their lyrics, though. Good heartbreak stuff.

Laura: Although some of their lyrics sound kind of desperate.

D'Anne: True. Like the line, "Look me in the eye and tell me you don't find me attractive." I don't think I could sing that to hundreds of people every night.

Laura: That line made me feel embarrassed for them. But really more so for the woman standing next to us who was passionately mouthing it with her eyes closed.

D'Anne: I've never been to a show where more people were wearing the band's T-shirts in my life. Except maybe New Kids on the Block.

Laura: The Tegan and Sara merchandise emporium was beyond extensive. Fans could leave with any assortment of trinkets to remind them of their hot night with the twins.

D'Anne: I can't believe you wouldn't buy me one of the $50 hoodies. You are so cheap.

Laura: Well, after I got myself both hoodies, the postcard set, five different T-shirts, the two button sets, the hardcover tour book, the scarf, a poster, their new record on vinyl and two CDs, I'd blown through $365. There wasn't enough left over for me to get you anything. Or to pay my rent.

D'Anne: Well, be thankful you have those sweatshirts and that scarf to keep you warm at the Greyhound station, since that's where you'll now be forced to live.

Laura: Maybe we could make that money back if we picked up a couple of guitars and got cute haircuts and musically dared people to deny they found us attractive.

D'Anne: No way. I'd never get a cute haircut.

Laura: Not even if I got us White Rain as a sponsor? And we learned hair-metal covers?

D'Anne: OK. Now, I'm listening...

D'Anne and Laura Witkowski are music critics for the Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected]