Tegan & Sara
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ON THE almost four years since they last played this room, Tegan and Sara have completed their transition to bona fide pop stars.
But it’s pleasing to hear that the twin sister duo haven’t left their acoustic roots behind them, going as far to remake early ‘00s hits Living Room and Walking With a Ghost in the style of Depeche Mode - and it works way better than when Taylor Swift tried something similar on her last world tour.
Last year’s Love You to Death was a synth pop monster, but beneath its shimmering disco riffs are tender stories of heartbreak. You can hear it in the crack of Tegan Quin’s voice on the verses of I Couldn’t Be Your Friend, and in the chopped up duelling “oh”s she shares with her sister over the song’s closing fade.
Tegan and Sara fans are a notoriously loyal bunch, which makes their live shows part-dance party, part-therapy session. I Was A Fool is dedicated to at least two members of the audience who confess to having recently been dumped while Goodbye is, after some discussion, reinvented as an anthem of empowerment.
But there are some tender musical moments too - not least when the band leaves the sisters alone on stage with just Tegan’s acoustic guitar and some stripped-back versions of songs from breakthrough album The Con, celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. It’s in moments like these that the strength of the duo’s songwriting shines through; in their ability to perfectly capture that first crush, first kiss, first broken heart.
And – with a perfect closing run of BWU, U-Turn, Boyfriend and Closer – the ability to dance it all away.