Review and Photos: Tegan & Sara @ The Tivoli, Brisbane 4 May 2010 w/ The Jezabels

Review by: Victoria Nugent
Photo by Charlyn Cameron
Click photo to view photos
The evening was kicked off by Sydney band The Jezabels who warmed up an initially reluctant crowd with their explosively energetic indie pop set. Front woman Hayley Mary won over the audience with her physical performance and raw vocals with solid rhythmic guitar from Sam Lockwood, a whimsical keyboard backing from Heather Shannon and wildly powerful drumming from Nik Kaloper.

Next up was American rapper Astronautalis, whose humorous brand of rapid-fire, tongue-in-cheek rap seemed initially an odd fit with the night’s general vibe, but provided unique entertainment. The audience’s reaction wavered throughout his set from general hilarity to mild confusion. Although perhaps he used one too many koala with a gun jokes, Astronautalis’ witty rapping , set to synthesised backing from a computer laptop, made his a performance unlike any other.

Tegan and Sara came to the stage with great audience excitement and launched straight into their single The Ocean off their latest album “Sainthood”. As blinding lights flashed, the Canadian sisters wowed the crowd with a mixture of new songs and old favourites. The twins switched between keyboards, electric and acoustic guitars for the duration of the performance, and were backed by a three piece band featuring guitar, bass guitar and drums.

Between songs, the Quinn twins took it in turn to talk to the audience with quirky banter about Red Bull, the internet, their teenage years, and a multitude of other topics. Tegan provided most of the commentary, while Sara was more reserved, saving her energy for some truly impressive guitar skills. The predominantly lesbian crowd cheered loudly at comments about gay marriage and cute girls in the crowd, with plenty of audience interaction as Tegan responded directly to crowd comments. The night’s friendly vibe held strong as Tegan and Sara rocked out versions of their hits including So Jealous, You Wouldn’t Like Me, Where Does the Good Go and Nineteen while the crowd danced and sang along. It was also a chance for the band to showcase their latest music, as they played a range of songs from “Sainthood”, including the haunting Nightwatch about their parents’ divorce and grunge sounding Northshore with its angry energy.

One of the gig’s truly memorable moments came when Sara raised the lights during Walking with a Ghost, bringing the audience out of obscurity, asking them to sing along as she carried the song with haunting, delicate vocals.

The pair played a lengthy encore which started off with a stripped down version of Back in Your Head, backed only by Sara on guitar and Tegan on glockenspiel, making the vocals truly stand out.

The pair also used the encore to introduce the audience to an acoustic version of the dance song the duo collaborated on Tiesto, Feel It in My Bones, before finally concluding with crowd favourite Living Room. When the sisters left the stage, there was a sense that the audience had been well sated, and could have gone on listening for much longer. The Tivoli gig proved two things for certain; that Tegan and Sara are much loved by their fans, and that the duo has lot of star power in them yet.

Photos from the concert
Tegan and Sara Australian Tour 2010
Interview: Nik Kaloper of The Jezabels