Tegan and Sara – Live at Theatre Corona – October 23rd, 2019 – Montreal, QC

I was not aware they could do assigned seating at the Theatre Corona, I don’t think that they were either as I witness so many spectators fumbling through the tiniest aisles to find their seat number, myself included. I’ll save you the headache of explaining how ridiculous and outdated that balcony is, but if they’re gonna continue to do events with assigned seats they need to organize that shit.

This was no ordinary concert experience; I’d hesitate to even use the word concert. Tegan and Sara were dually presenting their new album Hey, I’m Just Like You (released September 27th, 2019) as well as their memoir High School, which as its title suggests, focuses on their early teenage high school years. Truly it was one of the most unique presentations I’ve witnessed as Tegan and Sara split time between reading passages from their memoir, playing old home videos on the screen and playing acoustic versions of songs from the new album with a couple of older ones mixed in.

I think it’s important to mention that their new album was actually written back when they were in high school and just recently reworked and turned into an album. Their main focus through this process was to bring attention to that person we all were back in high school, not just themselves but the listeners as well. I think it was Tegan who mentioned during the set (cut me some slack, they’re identical twins!) that we often look back on who we were as a person then and undervalue our ideas and our creative process during those times, which she felt was a mistake and I agree wholeheartedly! I went in expecting to hear a lot of the new album but what I got was a whole lot more; a glimpse into the personal and challenging teenage years of two identical twin lesbian sisters, and what I ultimately learned was that my own personal challenges, struggles, and experiences as a straight male in high school were not entirely different from those of Tegan and Sara. There were members of the crowd crying and laughing at the same time and to me if you can illicit that reaction from a crowd during a performance, you are about as close to artistic perfection as you can get.

Tegan and Sara focused mainly on Hey, I’m Just Like You, opening with the title track followed by Don’t Believe the Things They Tell (They Lie)” a song that digs into their more rebellious side, experimenting with drugs, lying, ditching school, severely relatable stuff. Many of the songs and passages spoke of early teenage relationships and sexual identity and though I have very different experiences from Tegan and Sara regarding those topics, the amazing thing I began to pick up on throughout this performance is how much commonality there actually was and how much we all share in similar human experiences as we shape ourselves and carve out an identity. We all go through heartbreak, we all have those moments where we think we aren’t good enough and we all go through the struggle of figuring out who exactly we are, especially in those formative teenage years.

With Tegan mainly on acoustic guitar and Sara on piano (though they would occasionally switch roles) we were treated to some older tracks, Boyfriend,” “Back in Your Head,” and Where Does the Good Go.” Again, it was such a unique and interesting experience to hear these songs we are all so familiar with, in a laid back and intimate way, with stories to lift them up and shine new light on them.

The only downer on the night for me was that I’ve been digging the new album pretty hardcore and didn’t get to hear the songs as they were recorded, with full electronics and drums. Second round of tour Tegan and Sara? All this teenage exuberance is giving me hope!

Written by Lee Ferguson
*edited by Danielle Kenedy

About Lee Ferguson 119 Articles
What’s there to say about Lee? He is a lifelong Montrealer. He loves to eat in the shower and spend time with his pet Sam the Crow. Most of all, he loves music! Rarely seen without headphones in his ears, he is constantly seeking out new artists and genres, but always falls back on his love for 90’s rock and 80’s pop. Lee has been playing drums for over 15 years in a number of Montreal rock bands and is currently drumming for the alt-rock, punk/grunge-tinged band, Urban Spells. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Concordia University in 2007. So while he’s read just about every Shakespeare play, he promises to never quote any of them in social situations unless, of course, there is an attempted murder of the heir to the throne, then he’ll go all Shakespeare on everybody’s ass.

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