When you’ve been performing as long as Tegan & Sara have been, you’re expecting a grand showing of their diverse and evolving sound. Luckily the duo is not one to disappoint and this past weekend at the Vic Theatre they brought their best even as a cold threatened to take out a voice or two. Alongside Tomberlin, Tegan & Sara were able to give the adoring crowd at the Vic a very fun and special night.
I’ve been a fan of Tomberlin since Mirah picked her album for the Joyful Noise White Label series. At Weddings which would eventually be released by Saddle Creek stands a perfect debut album and since then Tomberlin has only grown as an artist. I Don’t Know Who Needs To Hear This… is a fantastic follow up and offers up a gentle of evolution of the tenderness Tomberlin has cultivated.
Despite a sinus infection, Tomberlin delivered a gorgeous set of songs for the packed Vic Theatre. Starting off with “Any Other Way”, a track that is so synonymous with her sound that it didn’t take much time capture the crowd’s attention. It’s a perfect intro to her newer tracks like “Sunstruck” and “Tap”, which was a massive stand out of the set. “Tap the heart until I hate myself” she croons in a beautiful cadence that permeates throughout the song. It’s an introspective stream of consciousness kind of song that works so well with Tomberlin’s beautiful voice.
When the time finally came for Tegan & Sara to take the stage, the reverent crowd boiled over and their excitement was palpable. The crowd was assuredly filled with diehard fans who likely had been checking in on the duo’s recent setlists and were aware of what was to take place. While this tour is in support of of their jam filled Crybaby, it’s clear that Tegan & Sara have taken this touring opportunity to play a little bit of everything. Every album since If It Was You (save the more rock forward Hey, I’m Just Like You) was touched on and it made for a set of fan favorites that honestly could not be denied its flowers.
Tegan & Sara‘s sound has certainly evolved to a more dancey pop focus of the years and it really works in a live setting. However that didn’t stop old favorites from fitting right in with the night. “I Bet it Stung” and “Back in Your Head” came early on in the set, filled with all the familiar lines that have endured over the years including the latter’s pained final chant of “I’m not unfaithful but I’ll stray”. the mixed so well with newer and just as memorable songs like the sparkling “Boyfriend” and “Faded Like a Feeling”.
Throughout the night the pair’s storytelling abilities stretched from their songs and into their stage banter. From discussing their connections with their older songs and Chicago to their new normal in Sara dealing with her newborn. Tegan & Sara are open books and aren’t afraid of sharing every last bit of them,self with the crowd, even if it’s an embarrassing coffee spill in the streets of Chicago or struggling with a baby who is only sleeping 45 minutes at a time
The duo explained to the crowd that they always hated the whole moving around that comes with encores. The reminisced about doing silly things in lieu of the typical encore walk off, but today they were just going to keep going. And the crowd was certainly down for that because they were at their most appreciative. “Call It Off” from The Con and “Where Does the Good Go” off of So Jealous were being belted out right back at Tegan & Sara. Maybe it’s because those songs are such powerful example of what makes the pair so important to so many people, maybe it was the crowd lending a helping hand to the pair’s voices which despite being a little sick were delivering. Whatever the case, voices came together beautiful before leading into “Yellow” and the set closer, a remixed version of “Closer”. “All I want to get is a little bit closer” over the darker instrumentals felt like a fantastic send off to this incredible show.
All photos by Julian Ramirez