Tegan and Sara haven’t always been the familiar, pervasive musical entity we know them as now. Although it seems like they’ve just arrived, almost out of nowhere, it might surprise those most familiar with their seemingly everywhere album, Heartthrob, that this Canadian duo has been doing this for well over a decade now.
Cincinnati fans may remember their appearance at Bunbury last year, on the main stage, along with tour mates fun. It’s no coincidence that the band has returned – Bunbury proved, without a doubt, that they had a following that wouldn’t just show up, but would be as ravenous and attentive as they could ask of an audience.
Though Heartthrob was released a year ago, outside of a few short runs here and there, the “Let’s Make Things Physical” is their first real opportunity to tour on the album as a headliner. Supporting bigger bands like fun. has ultimately helped them, but there’s something relieving and empowering about seeing a group like Tegan and Sara wield the full might of their music, and message, in front of an audience that will stand captivated, supportive, and most importantly, will be involved, dancing and singing along with all the energy they can spare.
Released in January 2013, Heartthrob marked a significant departure for the band, fronted and guided by twin sisters Tegan and Sara Quin (it’s not just a clever name). Where their earlier material was always approachable, it failed to connect with the large audience the sisters now have at their attention. Steeped in varying styles of emotional indie rock, the sometimes brooding, always clever sounds they created captured the hearts of hundreds of thousands of fans, even before their latest release brought them in to the spotlight.
As a fan of much of their prior material, Heartthrob was and continues to be a genuine surprise with each listen. The conscious decision to step away from what their fans had so passionately latched on to was a brave one, and in the end, endlessly fruitful. It’s given Tegan and Sara a tremendous platform on which they can share their message of equality and tolerance, love and unity. It’s never saccharine or intentionally provocative – and it never strays in to the realm of Hippy mentality, which I think we can all be thankful for. Instead, their newfound popularity has given them a chance to truly – and honestly – reach a bigger audience, and, incredibly enough, maintain the devout listenership that had taken them so far already.
It’s not just exciting, but genuinely moving, to see Tegan and Sara getting the attention and acclaim so many fans feel they deserved from the start. Their show on May 8th at Madison Theater promises to be a culmination of sorts, and will likely be a release of emotion and anticipation that has been building since their last appearance in the Tri-State area. To say that this show – and everything Tegan & Sara have accomplished in the past year – is long overdue would be a tragic understatement. There’s no doubt in my mind that fans new and old can all agree that this tour’s stop at Madison Theater isn’t just another show – it’s an important and poignant reminder that sometimes the right ones make it through to the other side with their dignity and identity intact. But more than anything else, though, it’s going to be a seriously great time.