Tegan & Sara Trade in Their Guitars for Synthesizers

I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I was waiting in line for the Tegan and Sara show at Metropolis. I was familiar with their album Sainthood and actually saw them open for Paramore on their Honda Civic Tour in 2009. Since then, their sound and style have done a complete 180. When I saw that they were coming to Montreal, I bought a ticket without even thinking. I haven’t listened to any of their new stuff besides their hit song “Closer” from their last album Heartthrob. Now, touring and playing material from their eighth record Love You To Death I knew nothing and no one going.

Before I threw on my black leggings and choker I brushed up on my Tegan and Sara. I listened to Sainthood, some stuff from the Con and some new songs off their album like “Stop Desire” and “Boyfriend”. I wasn’t too keen on all their new stuff since it I was so used to the indie rock songs Chris Walla helped produce on Sainthood, my favorite Tegan and Sara album. Boy was that sound long gone!

The doors opened at 6:30PM, giving a whopping hour and a half to wait for the first act: Too Attached. I was unfamiliar with the group but their performance was heartfelt enough to resonate with me even after the show. Consisting of brother and sister Shamik and Vivek, Too Attached played two or three songs one of them about Vivek's struggle with coming out as transgender. They also included a tribute to Tegan and Sara by performing a beatbox performance of “So Jealous”. Right after Two Attached, no time was wasted in getting Torres on stage who gave an intense performance to say the least!

Finally, after the long wait Tegan and Sara took the stage at 9:30. With their stage setup like a dance party was about to break out, they started off with their old hit “Back in Your Head”. Instead of playing it in that sweet cutesy medley they gave the song a techno beat out of a 1980s music video. As they played old songs throughout the set like “Northshore”, “Walking With a Ghost” and my favorite “Living Room”, they played them with an electronic beat that was almost hypnotic. I didn’t see Tegan and Sara pick up a guitar until they played “The Con” and “Call it Off” acoustic.   

The absolute best part of the show was the lighting. Usually lighting isn’t something I notice at a concert but the lights they used were really apparent but in a good way. The lighting, the music, and the style really made me feel like Cyndi Lauper and Madonna were going to join them on stage at some point. And of course, I can’t talk about the Tegan and Sara concert without mentioning the amazingly beautiful awkward dancing.

They interacted with the audience by allowing a fan who was dressed in a penguin costume and another fan dressed as Pikachu to dance on stage during their single “Stop Desire”. The show had a fun upbeat tone that was lacking in their previous performances.

Overall, I think new and old Tegan and Sara fans cannot only be satisfied with their albums but also their live performances! Although it seems that they seldom play their own instruments on stage, they still continue to incorporate witty banter and storytelling, which has become a trademark of their shows.


Coming from a small town in New Jersey, Fallon DiBlasio has always had an interest in coming to Montreal and taking part in it's music scene. Her music taste lies in indie rock from bands like Arcade Fire, The Killers, The Last Shadow Puppets, and Jake Bugg. Besides music, Fallon enjoys sewing, watching movies, and reading Stephen King novels. Overall, Fallon is excited to join the CJLO team and contribute in any way she can!