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Concert review: Tegan and Sara get ‘Closer’ with Columbus crowd

Tegan and Sara perform at Riot Fest in Chicago in 2014. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

Tegan and Sara perform at Riot Fest in Chicago in 2014. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

Canadian twins and musical duo, Tegan and Sara, returned to EXPRESS LIVE! last night and they made it clear that they have real love for Columbus.

I’m not sure what it is about our little slice of paradise here in the Midwest, but many bands seem to remark at one point or another during their concerts that a stop in Ohio’s capital is always a must on their tours.

After rolling through their first three songs without a word to the crowd, Tegan began complimenting Columbus by saying that her words weren’t  “just lip service,”  and EXPRESS LIVE! is one of their favorite venues in the country.

The enthusiastic and female-heavy crowd returned the sentiment with lots of cheering and clapping.

Relying heavily on tracks from their 2013 release “Heartthrob” for the first half of their set, Tegan and Sara, who each wore statement jackets, were backed by musicians dressed in all white. That aesthetic mixed with the synth-pop sound gave the evening a futuristic feel.

After playing about seven songs, which included older songs like “Northshore” and “Living Room,” it started to feel like they were all blending together a bit too much. Each song seemed to be missing the little production nuances that helped each track stand out on the albums.

The ladies must have felt the same way because it was about that time when they dismissed their backing band so Tegan could play acoustic guitar while both girls sang “The Con” and “Call It Off.”

The break allowed Tegan and Sara to show off their vocal skills; which were hard to appreciate at times during their beat-heavy set.  

After welcoming back their band, the show continued on with a mix of songs from past releases, which was a bit of a surprise considering they released their new album, “Love You to Death,” this summer.

It was clear throughout the evening that Tegan and Sara were here to play for their fans in a town where they have always felt loved and supported. And there’s no better way for them to reciprocate that love than by making their concert a mix of songs from their almost 20-year career.

Near the end of the show, Tegan, who kept us all informed of the evening’s itinerary throughout the show, announced that there were four more songs and the show would be over. I liked that. I liked that they were essentially announcing there would be no encore.

The encore is such a waste of everyone’s time. The band walks off the stage, we all scream and beg for them to come back. Then they finally hit the stage once more to play those last two songs that we all knew were missing from the setlist. It’s exhausting and annoying and I am so tired of playing that game.

Anyone paying attention could have guessed that one of the final songs would be their new single, “Boyfriend.” The crowd seemed to be full of couples and it was fun watching them sing it to one another as they danced.

Tegan and Sara wrapped up the night by playing their breakout hit from 2013, “Closer,” which threw the audience into a frenzy. The audience sang along and danced with abandon, knowing that this would be their final moments with the band.

Last night was a true love affair between Columbus and Tegan and Sara.

Update Oct. 26, 6:45 p.m.

As I have learned from multiple concerned concert-goers, I made a rookie mistake and left the venue before Tegan and Sara performed an encore of three songs: “100x,” “Walking With a Ghost” and “Stop Desire.”

I apologize to all who were mislead by this review, but I think that this incident only strengthens my argument that encores are pointless acts that need to be retired by all musicians immediately. Just play all the music you’re going to play and end the show when it is actually over.

But, I have learned my lesson and will never leave a concert again until the event staff kicks me out. Thank you to all who took the time to read this and called me out on my mistake. Hopefully I am a better reviewer for it.

One comment

  1. Were you even at the show? They definitely did the same BS about leaving the stage, waiting for applause, then coming back. The last song before the encore was Closer, which you claim was the last song of the show. Sounds like you left then!

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