We settled into our seats and noticed the ample amount of space that we had, as we were in Section 10, Row N and of the 15 seats we were the only occupants. Section 11’s row N was also empty, it didn’t get much better around the rest of the Metro Centre (in their Half Bowl configuration) there were largely empty sections and vast swaths of seats which remained empty for the duration of the Lights/Tegan &Sara show. For the general admission floor a fair sized crowd was gathering, but other than taking up space they were devoid of life for the majority of the night.
An opener should be building the energy so that when the headliner hits the stage the crowd is primed and ready, but in this case Lights really lacked the energy and oomph that was needed to put people in the mood for Tegan & Sara. My doubts about this venue being too large for this show were exacerbated by the opening act. I don’t put any of the onus on Lights as she and her backing band tried to banter with the audience, but her brand of etheral electro pop was rendered largely ineffective in the vast cavern that is the Metro Centre. She would be well suited to the Cohen or even the Cunard Centre, but the big room in the city was not the ideal for her music, fortunately she was on stage for a scant 30 minutes and headed off to sign autographs at the merch table (where a dash to the line ensued towards the end of Lights’ set closer “Toes”).
The intermission between the two acts was close to 30 minutes, which felt excessive given the minimalist stage set up, but when Tegan & Sara stormed the stage any doubts I had about the venue size were quickly negated when they layed into “Drove me Wild” off of their latest effort Hearthrob. The sound being produced by the tiny power twins and their backing band more than filled the Metro Centre to the rafters and breathed some life into an otherwise lackluster crowd, who were finally beginning bop and dance around a bit. The setlist was a great mix of new material, deep cuts and fan favorites, but as with the majority of shows, there were a few head-scratching omissions such as the lack of “Hell” and “Northshore” to name a couple. It was great to see the band reach all the way back to their major label debut if It Was You with “Living Room” and the fan favorite “Walking with a Ghost” from So Jealous. It was a solid set from the self-proclaimed “Masters of the Set List” and everyone left happy and some a little deafer (than those who came equipped with ear protection).
Personally it had been close to a decade since I had last seen Tegan and Sara on stage in Halifax and I’m glad I was able to secure a pair of tickets via @WetSpotHalifax and @SonicConcerts as it was a solid show from these Gals. They were more than able to fill up the Metro Centre cavern with their indie pop/rock sound were well worth the $46.00+ ticket price. I would be quick to recommend Tegan & Sara if you get a chance to see ’em, and I’d be willing to check out Lights in a smaller venue. All in all, the crowd was definitely lackluster but coupled with the nearly half empty venue it simply made their lack of energy even more noticeable, fortunately the energy being put forth by the headliners made up the difference and then some. In the past decade the band has evolved from a sweet folky pop-rock duo, to main stage headliners who have mastered the art of banter and the ability to rock ones socks off. It was a solid night of music in Halifax!