A charming twin bill called Tegan and Sara
It’s heartening in a pop music world that traffics so heavily on ideas of fame, bling and the exploitation of cultural stereotypes there is room for artists who run counter to type. Tegan and Sara are twin sisters from Vancouver, Canada, whose band bearing their names has enjoyed unlikely success, climbing the independent music ladder for the last four years by virtue of timeless do-it-yourself values: constant touring and hummable, honest music.
They returned to Los Angeles for the first time since completing a nationwide tour with the Killers (they’ve also opened for Ryan Adams, Neil Young, even the Red Hot Chili Peppers) for a show Monday at the Henry Fonda Theatre.
Short, fey, each with dark brown hair and a rusty, slightly nasally voice, Tegan and Sara Quin showed a knack for turning what might have once been considered liabilities into virtues. The fact is that they are downright charming. Sara begins a story about their father. Tegan interrupts. Sara feigns offense. Tegan continues. The audience laughs. A song starts. A bra is thrown onstage. The song stops. Sara digresses on the history of bra tossing. Tegan shoots her a look. The song resumes. People dance and sing.
It’s not so much that they’ve cornered the market on a type of family values or identity politics (both women are openly gay, though it seems none of their fans are too concerned with such things). It’s just that when Tegan sings a song such as “Divided” -- which includes the line “Sara is out on the highway / She’s got a homemade sign that says, / ‘Go ahead and try to figure out what my future looks like’ ” -- it’s hard not to root for them, not to be swept up in the elegant intimacy of the show, not to think identity politics don’t matter much, or that their future is anything but bright.