Tegan and Sara | 170 Russell, 25.07.16
After three years, Tegan and Sara finally returned to Australia to play Splendour in the Grass, and we were lucky enough to get Sydney and Melbourne sideshows. I was thrilled to see they were playing a standing venue this time, having been stuck way up the back of the Palais sat down on the Heartthrob tour. Getting to this gig was an experience and a half - first I had to scrape high and low to find my ticket for my girlfriend, and then the day before we were in a car accident! But we still made it, and ended up about four rows from the front. After a stellar opening set from up and coming young artist Lupa J, Tegan and Sara took the stage to rapturous applause, opening with stripped down versions of Call It Off and Now I’m All Messed Up. It only took until the second song for me to start crying - but I wasn’t the only one! One girl even got pointed out to the sisters by her friend, much to her embarrassment.
The great thing about seeing Tegan and Sara live is that you end up seeing so much more than just some live music! Their between show banter is always so natural and hilarious. Tegan started off proceedings while Sara was quiet in the background, but later on Sara came into her own with a great rant about the perils of Instagram and keeping everyone happy, and of course, stories about her cats. As they remarked, it was like being at a comedy show! They kept the atmosphere in the room so genuine and welcoming, and despite a few dickheads nearby, it was one of the most friendly crowds I’ve been in recently.
Although this tour was promoting the Quin sisters’ most recent release, Love You To Death, they played a variety of songs spanning their career, and it was nice to see newer songs get as strong a reception as classics such as Nineteen. Mid set, the triple hit of Goodbye, Goodbye, U-Turn, and Stop Desire got even the shy crowd members dancing. The latter two in particular really stood out live, proving my theory that LYTD would really improve in the live setting. 100x had me in absolute floods, but then the energy picked up again with main set closers Boyfriend and Closer. We all knew they weren’t done though - encores really are just going through the motions! They reappeared to deafening applause with just acoustic guitar, and performed Dark Come Soon, The Con, and Where Does The Good Go to end. Tegan promised she wouldn’t end without “some LGBTIQ stuff” and delivered a sincere message of solidarity to the community in Australia, also noting that we all looked like an intelligent bunch - at which point Sara interjected “she means you all look gay!” She was not wrong!
The sisters said they look set to return in March, and honestly that can’t come fast enough! In a time when there is so much darkness in the world, it was so lovely to experience this amazing show with someone I loved, surrounded by a bunch of people who I felt very safe with and happy.