LIVE REVIEW: Tegan and Sara Blend Music with New Memoir at the San Francisco Show

Photo credit: Trevor Brady


The Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco hosted a fantastic night on October 1, 2019 with the artists Tegan and Sara. Even before our arrival I knew this was going to be a special night. Social media and local news blew up with the report that the artists were made aware of roughly 200 seats that were bought and were being sold at a marked up price. They shut the scalping of tickets by making it public and condemning both in the news as well as at the concert by offering those 200 seats back to the fans willing to pay whatever price they felt was fair. Those proceeds went to their Tegan and Sara Foundation that supports LGBTQ+ girls and women. The concert started a little late in order to make sure that their fans were in the seats for a price that was fair. The artists were adamant about how the fans are the ones that help the artist make their living and that the artist’s job was to give the fans a great experience. When scalping occurs then both sides loose. I applaud their effort to do things differently and to shake up a system that has been corrupt for too long.

Tegan and Sara opened up their unique show by asking the audience to please keep your phones off and to really immerse yourself into the experience they were crafted for us. I will say that by doing this it made me so much more engaged and it felt like we were a part of the show. That was their whole design of this experience to be immersed is a book reading, that transforms into a comedy show, then whips you up into a full on concert with all your favorite songs. It was special. It was unique. It was creative. All of which are a reflection of the immensely talented Canadian twins.

The performance felt like a diary been read out loud which in some ways it really was, since this show highlighted their new memoire “High School, A Memoir.” They gave each member of the audience a free copy of the book, which was really cool. Both Tegan and Sara revealed parts of their inner thoughts while crafting a story about who they are and how they became 20 year veterans in the music industry. They would read from the book which would allow the audience to uncover a portion of their story and truly make you feel like “Hey they are just like me.” This plays perfectly to the title of their new album “Hey, I’m Just Like You.” The dichotomy between their memoir and the album was beautifully crafted and to fully understand both the music and the words it is vital to experience this show.

In much the same ways that they are twins that are forever linked in a magical way the new book and new album are interwoven with each other. They both have a unique voice that stand alone but when experience in tandem, they shine so much brighter. Experiencing both at the same time adds so much value to their art. This show was not an easy one to pull off and what they did greatly exceeded my expectations. During each song set it was impressive to see how well they play guitar and piano, while at the same time belting out their heart.  Their musical ability is excellent, and it was fun to see through their homemade clips that it wasn’t always so polished.

To have the opportunity to attend this show with my wife made this even more special. We both have very different back stories but we both felt that the sisters nailed the emotions and awkwardness that happens as you are starting to figure out your sexuality. Being gay, I easily relate to their struggle of coming out to their family and each other. I am a bit jealous that they were able to do this at such a young age.  For Krissy it was in her mid-twenties and the most difficult time in my life. So the struggles they faced really resonated on a personal level.

Tegan and Sara speak to a wide audience and gives voices to all those queer kids out there that struggled to understand why they were different before they had a “coming out.” Their humor combined with humbleness makes their shows so personal and enjoyable. The Sydney Goldstein Theater provided a great safe space for all genders and it was really cool to see that the bathrooms allowed all genders.  They had signs posted there is to be no inequality and that if so it should be reported right away.  Even their tour name “Hey, I’m Just Like You” makes all genders feel comfortable enough to be themselves.

Every one of their shows amazes me (Krissy) how perfectly they feed off of each other.  As they read parts of their book perfectly, they played music to match that time in their lives.  Lyrically it’s quite amazing how great each song is, even ones they wrote back in high school when first starting out.  To make the night even more intimate they played home video clips of when they were young.  The entire experience was fun and exciting and very impressive.

We have never been to such a unique show!  This performance is a must see for anyone who has followed these amazing artists but also recommend it to your friends if they haven’t heard of them. Their voices in the sea of artists stand out lyrically, musically, and without a doubt humorously.

 Also, don’t forget to buy their book!

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