Live Review Tegan and Sara, Roundhouse, London 13th February 2017

Tegan and Sara, Roundhouse, London

Infectious synth pop designed for catharsis.

After strong support from Alex Lahey and Ria Mae, Tegan and Sara take the stage at London’s Roundhouse to enthusiastic cheers. Set opener ‘Back in Your Head’ is surprisingly low energy, but things soon pick up with ‘I Couldn’t Be Your Friend’. Over the course of the next hour and a half, Tegan and Sara dole out infectious synth pop designed for catharsis. 

“Is anyone going through a breakup?” Tegan asks, midway through the set. “You two are? Did you break up with each other? Oh.” 

It’s OK, she says, if you’re feeling down. This is a good place to be if you are. She dedicates ‘Shock to Your System’ to people struggling with the end of a relationship, and proves herself right. She and Sara keep the enthusiasm up with ‘Northshore’ and ‘Living Room’, both of which are greeted with loud cheers. 

Then their backing band step off the stage, leaving Tegan and Sara to play a brief acoustic set. ‘The Con’ is very warmly received, but it’s ‘Call It Off’ that resonates strongest. The crowd sing along quietly, as though each person is afraid of breaking the moment. The murmured voices swell and fill the large room in a perfect tribute to the sense of community the two women onstage have worked to build. 

A few minutes later, Sara takes a moment to address this and make a statement of solidarity. With all that’s going on in the world at the moment, she says, “it’s not good enough to stand up for the things that affect just you anymore. It’s important to stand up in solidarity with anyone who is getting fucked with.” 

“We’re going to stand up for each other, we’re going to feel positive,” agrees Tegan. “And this 

one’s for George Michael.” 

Their next song ‘U-Turn’ definitely has a touch of George about it, and starts the triple threat of ‘U-Turn’, ‘Boyfriend’ and ‘Closer’ that ends the main set on a high. 

When they return for their encore, ‘100x’, ‘Walking With A Ghost’ and ‘Stop Desire’ bring the night to a joyous close. 

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Photos: Lindsay Melbourne