Tegan and Sara came to The Rooftop at Pier 17 Saturday one their Crybaby Tour, playing for a chilly crowd of all ages to close out the venue’s 2022 Summer Concert Series. A lot has happened for the duo since their last tour pre-COVID: they both turned 40; Sara welcomed a baby; their new album came out the previous week; and a new TV series based on their 2019 memoir High School premiered on Amazon.
The night started out with a set of the high-energy 80s-inspired synthpop the band is known for, jumping from 2016’s Stop Desire to the Crybaby album opener I Can’t Grow Up to 2004’s punchier I Bet It Stung. Tegan and Sara looked genuinely psyched to be back on tour after so long. So did touring guitarist Isaac Bolivar, who hopped around the stage so energetically over the show’s 100+ minutes he definitely won the award for Most Calories Burned; and drummer Adam Christgau earned his short sleeves with weather in the 50s.
The artists’ frequent ~5 minute breaks to chat with the audience were a welcome return from their previous tours (they’re so well followed that you can already find them all on YouTube if you’re interested). Ranging from the humorous - a long backstory on the edibles-laced origins of Smoking Weed Alone, presumably to the chagrin of the numerous parents of children dancing in groups at the show - to sincere reflections on the duo’s almost 25 years of making music. It was a heartfelt example of the intimacy so many fans have found in their music; I met more than one fan for whom this was their second show in a week.
A highpoint mid-set was the song that had maybe the warmest greeting by fans: The Con, off their widely celebrated 2007 album, and a welcome show of the subtle queer visibility also depicted in their show High School. The rest of their main set remained down-tempo, from the slowed-down Living Room and melancholic yet triumphant Now I’m All Messed Up, to another fan favorite Nineteen, before closing with the 2004 classic Walking with a Ghost.
The encore brought back Isaac Bolivar for the acoustic Where Does the Good Go, before restoring the full support for the album’s new favorite Yellow. Finally, a truly funky rendition of Closer brought the house down.
Tomberlin opened the night with an intimate set, reflecting on the influence Tegan and Sara’s albums had growing up queer in the 00’s.