November 21, 2012

IconAre lesbians ruining it for Tegan and Sara?

There are two categories of people who go to Tegan and Sara gigs. The first category is made up of people who love the band. The second category are lesbians. The second category have no meaningful appreciation for the band or their music; they go to the gigs because they are lesbians and because Tegan and Sara are lesbians. But they’re ruining it for everyone.

So, why do lesbians love Tegan and Sara?

Tegan and Sara are Canadian born twins, musicians and lesbians. They have just finished supporting the Killers on their UK tour. But this is not the first time the twins have been to the UK. It’s their ‘hundredth’ – or so they said at their own gig at the HMV Forum in London in November 2012.

I love this band. The main reason I love them is for their music. However, even I have to admit that if it wasn’t for their sexuality, I’m not sure I would have discovered their music. So, their sexuality probably is the route to their music for a lot of women.

A Tegan and Sara gig is a phenomenon – at times there’s the kind of hysteria you might witness at a One Direction concert. At this recent gig, there was a moment when I felt like I was witnessing some kind of evangelical church gathering (for those of you who are fans, you have to admit that Where Does the Good Go has a kind of religious feel to it when everyone is singing along). There is no doubt about it; people who love these girls really do love them.

And yet, some people go to the gigs even though they don’t care about the band. A group of women stood behind my partner and I at the last gig, and they didn’t just talk over the music, they shouted over it. They were destroying the experience for anyone within a 5 meter radius, and predictably, my partner is a ‘b**ch’ and a ‘c**t’ for asking them to take their conversation elsewhere.

Why do lesbians go to Tegan and Sara gigs if they don’t like the music?

I go to a lot of gigs, and yes, this happens regardless of the gig, but there is something unique about it in this context. If those lovely women had let me get a word in I would have asked one question: why are you here?

Were they there because they like the band? Or were they there because they felt like they should be there – because it was a ‘lesbian’ event in London? They didn’t want to miss out. Or maybe they had nowhere else to go. After all, they spent £22.50 each to stand there with a drink, gab with their mates, and ignore the actual show.

This opens up a whole load of other questions about services for lesbian and bisexual women and about representation in the media. Do limited representations mean that lesbians flock to the few that are available? If this is true, have Tegan and Sara benefited or have they suffered commercially?

Are lesbians ruining it for Tegan and Sara?

Tegan and Sara are very much known as a cult ‘lesbian’ band. It has been difficult for them to break into the mainstream – because they are labeled so heavily as a ‘lesbian band’ and therefore niche. Do they feel hard done by? Sara said on stage at their gig last week that she does sometimes wonder if she should have just become a lawyer – but gigs like this make her think “nah”.

So ultimately, Tegan and Sara appreciate their fans. They appreciate people spending money on tickets and coming to their shows. But, I do remember hearing them complain at another gig a few years ago that they wished that people who came to their gigs also bought their CD’s.

So, to the nasty little creatures who swore at us and almost ruined our night; at least buy the CD. You can pre-order the new album, Heartthrob on iTunes from Wednesday 21st November. It is out in February 2012.

Here they are on David Letterman. Enjoy!

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6 Responses to Are lesbians ruining it for Tegan and Sara?

  1. Karen says:

    Yes! I’ve seen them twice and skipped the last couple. I found a lot of women were not paying attention and/or being quite sexually aggressive. Vocally so in a way I’m sure a lot of people would find unacceptable (let alone unattractive – seriously ladies, it’s never gonna get you backstage) if it was men shouting at them. It’s not ok because we’re all girls! Not a great atmosphere. I could say the same for Gossip. I saw every gig I could since loving them from the first 7″ but I felt really uncomfotable the way some women were literally throwing themselves at Beth, I can’t help thinking there would have been more outrage if it was guys not respecting her space.

  2. Carrie Lyell Carrie Lyell says:

    Totally agree. I went to see Uh Huh Her at the Arches in Glasgow earlier this year, and they were great but the group of girls beside us that kept screaming “WE LOVE YOU ALICE!” or “WE’VE SEEN YOU FUCKING ON TV!” at Leisha Hailey were not so great and would really make me think twice before going back to a gig where the band has an obsessive lesbian/bi following. Not to mention the HUNDREDS of clashing checked shirts. I’ve still got a migrane!

    • Claire says:

      I went to see Uh Huh Her this year, and it was really uncomfortable the way some women were shouting over the songs with stuff like ‘I love you Alice’. I, like Georgia with Tegan and Sara, had heard of the band mainly because I was gay, and watched the L Word, however I have both of their albums and love their music.

      I also went to see Tegan and Sara twice when they have been in Nottingham and it was really awful the way people were screaming at the stage, that it put me off going again.

  3. Milly Shaw Milly Shaw says:

    So do people literally just buy tickets for gigs because they think Tegan and Sara / Leisha Hailey are hot?

  4. Rista says:

    I LOVE Tegan and Sara, I grew up with them since 2001. I own all their albums, demos, b-sides, posters and merchandise. I have yet to go to a live show. I also a lesbian.

    now, I understand the line in thinking that some lesbians might ruin the show. they are young, immature, and don’t understand the connection T&S make with their fans. If I ever EVER get the chance to go to a Tegan and Sara concert and anyone attempted to ruin it by shouting obscene things, I’d be extremely upset, and rightly so.

    what lesbians are ruining, is Tegan and Sara’s LIVE appearance. I can’t tell you the times I’ve heard fans upset with the crowd, even T&S get annoyed and ask people to be quiet. to them, it isn’t just a job or a career, it’s a life long passion. I love Tegan and Sara, their music has helped me more times than I can count.

    it makes me really sad to see so many people introduced to Tegan and Sara, only to walk away from their great message and lyrical content, due to stereotypes and crowds. I stand by this band. I stand by the LGBTQ community, however, I wish people would enjoy the music.

  5. Yve says:

    Hello how on earth does being a lesbian change the fact groupies will act like groupies at a concert? I’m sure tons of new direction fans just go becuz they think the boys are hott and they scream out the same shyt. Hell ever been to a rock concert cuz women are known to get loud and throw bras at those as well.

    Get over it if you really have a problem with other lesbians going to the concert becuz they bother you then buy better seats where you are not seating in general admission with everyone else. PS Tegan and Sara don’t suffer when they are selling seating to their concerts no matter who goes to support them. I’m sure they are glad to have lesbian fans supporting them who also think they are hott.

    I think they paid to enjoy the concert just as much as you did and soo what if they didn’t know all the words or whatever it is that you think makes you a better fan becuz you quietly it there expecting a concert to sound like a symphony where everyone is there to sit back and listen. Sorry everyone who is a fan has their cd already and concerts are more about having a live experience where fans sing along, drink, scream OMG I love the band ect..ect, take photos and all that good shyt. It’s what happens at every concert doesn’t matter if it’s gay guys at Madonna, teen girls at Beiber, or lesbians at Sarah and Tagen. That’s just par of what groupie fans do at concerts. DA

Georgia Rooney

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