REVIEW: Tegan and Sara at the Pabst Theater

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Photo by Kelsea McCulloch

Canadian indie-pop duo and identical twins Tegan and Sara made their long-awaited return to Milwaukee last night and the Pabst Theater. The sisters are touring in support of their eighth studio album Love you to Death.

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Photo by Ian Schrank

The crowd at this show was one of the most impressive I have ever seen at a concert. This was clear before the show even started, when I was told the first two floor of seats were already packed when I arrived. These were some of the most dedicated and passionate fans. You could have made a drinking game out of every time someone shouted “I love you” to the performers. Tegan would play literally two notes of a song, and the crowd would immediately recognize it and erupt with applause. This kind of excitement was contagious, and I could not help but cheer along with them.

Tegan and Sara took the stage and went into three songs right in row. Band members were all dressed in white, which reflected the dynamic multicolored lights that surrounded them. They stood on a translucent platform with lights on the inside that would change and move with each song. I ended up being happy with my third floor, back row seat, because I was able to view the entire set throughout the show.

IMG_0368.JPGAfter their first three songs, the band took a second to quiet things down and say hello to the audience. They announced that they were touring in support of their newest record Love You to Death, but they assured everyone that they will be playing a lot of their old songs. Tegan and Sara were both so candid and conversational that it was a highlight whenever they stopped to engage with the audience. Tegan talked about coming to Milwaukee before to play at the Rave, and finding the building so creepy that it reminded her of her grandparents’ basement as a kid. Sara took a moment to urge everyone to vote in the upcoming presidential election. Being big advocates for women’s rights and the LGBTQ community, they strongly favor one candidate over the other, but they made a point not to tell their fans who to vote for. Sara proclaimed that it is foolish not to vote, and the band went into their 2013 hit “I Was a Fool.”

Eventually, the backing musicians took and break and Tegan and Sara themselves slowed things down with few acoustic songs. Each song built off the last one in terms of energy and sound. Their song “Nineteen” began quietly and acoustic, but as their powerful vocals picked up the rest of the band joined in and the bright light display returned. After that they announced that the show was coming to a close, and they played three of their new songs in a row. The show’s finale brought their newest single “Boyfriend” followed by their biggest hit “Closer.” The night was incredibly fun. After playing and performing for 19 years, Tegan and Sara really know how to put on a show. Despite Tegan’s jokes about being “ancient” at age 35, they show no signs of stopping.

 

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