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    Categories: A & EMusic

Tegan and Sara Command Audiences as Revamped Pop Duo

We knew that Tegan and Sara weren’t going to let old or new fans down while on their LY2D (Love You to Death) tour, but we might not have anticipated how smoothly (or roughly) their sullen, acoustic ballads would mix with their retro pop singles.

On Thursday, September 22 at In the Venue, it became evident that the two phases of their career were virtually unmixable. Tracks from their classic album The Con and So Jealous were sandwiched in between ones from Heartthrob and Love You to Death, and the transitions felt abrupt; almost schizophrenic.

All of this to say that while the duo proved that they’ve still got the chops to croon and strum, they would do well in staying on their Top 40 trajectory.  These two know how to write earworm tracks that translates into an incredibly electric live show – and whether planned or by happenstance, the venue’s huge looming disco ball and multi-tiered stage complemented the occasion perfectly. “Closer” and “Goodbye, Goodbye” were of course on the menu. And one of their most heartbreaking songs, “I Was a Fool” carried new weight when sung along with a room full of other fans.

While only a select few songs have claimed the spotlight since their new LP’s relatively recent release, their performance of “Dying to Know” demands more attention. It’s fun to listen to as is: the churning synths; intricate harmonies in the chorus (which drops like a motherf-er); how the hard beats hug the lyrics snugly. But it’s because of all these elements that it hits you even harder in person. (Peek their new music video for “Stop Desire,” released on the day of the show.)

The Quin sisters probably make some of the most pleasant crowd banter you’ll ever see (chalk it up to Canada?), from kindly asking a drunk spectator to “pace yourself,” to remarking on the venue’s odd setup (“So you guys are only allowed to drink up there?” Tegan asked those up in the balcony). “Yeah, Utah!” answered someone sarcastically in the designated “sober section.” (It’s ceaselessly fascinating to see how touring acts address the alcohol partitioning at the concert spaces here.)

Go here to view more photos from the show of Tegan and Sara and openers, Shura.

Charissa Che :Charissa Che hails from NYC and has been a journalist for over 12 years. She is a regular music contributor for Salt Lake Magazine. Additionally, she is a PhD candidate in Writing & Rhetoric at the University of Utah. She prides herself on following the best cat accounts on Instagram. Calicos preferred.