Twin duo Tegan and Sara kick off U.S. tour in NoHo

By Ellie Rulon-Miller

Canadian indie rock sibling duo Tegan and Sara will be performing at the Calvin Theater in Northampton tonight. The night marks the first stop on their tour, which will take them to 26 cities across the country as they promote their latest album, “Sainthood.” The album, their sixth to date, was released in October of last year.

The pair, who began touring with Neil Young and the Pretenders are known for showing significant evolution in their sound with each new record. They have also played with the likes of Rufus Wainwright, Cake, Cyni Lauper, Ben Folds, Death Cab for Cutie and Weezer.

While each of the sisters’ music is based in indie-rock, they tend to introduce some different elements into their music with every release. The 2004 album “So Jealous” featured synths, in addition to their typical simple guitar, bass and drum lines.

“Sainthood” has a much more electronic-based sound than anything they have ever released before. This album also marks their closest collaboration thus far. Tegan and Sara, who are twins, have matured in their style not only in music, but in fashion. Their tastes have gone from hipster-punk to a much sleeker, more refined look. They have all but ditched their mullets, and look down-right chic with the edgy bobs displayed in their promotional photos.

Though they have long fought their twin image, the two sisters have begun to embrace it as they  evolve. Tegan and Sara have also drawn much attention over the fact that they’re both lesbians, and have played in the True Colors Tour in 2008.

The downside of the duo’s new sound however is, with the exception of their singing, their latest music sounds more manufactured and fake. They have very clearly employed the use of a drum machine, and seem overwhelmingly dedicated to electronic sounds.

Their lyrics do not disappoint, though. They remain honest, cute and catchy – in true Tegan and Sara style.

Tegan and Sara will be performing tonight with Holly Miranda and Steel Train. Holly Miranda has an almost too laid-back, mellow sound, and a lot of her songs sound eerily similar. Steel Train’s music features a garage rock sound sprinkled with piano and vocal stylings that set them apart from your cookie-cutter garage rock band.

All in all, this show promises to be an entertaining one. Tegan and Sara’s live sound varies dramatically from their studio recordings, and they tend to sound much better onstage, with their performance complimented by their back and forth bantering.

Tegan and Sara, Holly Miranda and Steel Train will perform tonight at the Calvin Theater at 8 p.m. This show has been labeled “sold out” on a lot of online concert resources. However, in a last stitch effort to see the incredible sister duo, it would definitely be worth it to go and see if there are any tickets available at the door. The listed price for door tickets is $38.50.

Ellie Rulon-Miller can be reached at [email protected]