July 28, 2013

Review: Canada's acclaimed sister duo proves well worth waiting for

Maine fans of Canadian folk-rock-pop band Tegan and Sara have been waiting forever for a show in the Pine Tree State. That wait ended Saturday night at Portland’s State Theatre with a show in support of their latest album, “Heartthrob,” released in January.

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Twin sisters Tegan and Sara perform at the State Theater in Portland on Saturday.

Photos by Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

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Sara Quin belts out a song while reaching for the high notes during Saturday’s show.


Tegan and Sara

WHERE: Portland's State Theatre

DATE REVIEWED: Saturday, July 27

Although identical twins Tegan and Sara Quin, 32, have been crafting songs since high school, “Heartthrob” marks their first significant collaboration. The result is a mostly high-energy pop album that even has a bona fide piano and synth ballad on it.

Lucius, a five-piece Brooklyn, N.Y., band fronted by singers Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig opened Saturday’s show. Their harmonies were incredible, and to say the crowd loved this band would be a huge understatement. Lucius shouldn’t have any problem attracting a crowd for their Dec. 4 show at Empire Dine & Dance in Portland.

At 9 o’clock sharp,  Tegan and Sara, backed by keys, drums, guitar and bass, opened with “Drive Me Wild” from “Heartthrob.” The audience, which seemed close to a sell-out, was driven quite wild by the song, and the lovefest continued throughout the 85-minute performance.

“I’m Not Your Hero” and “Goodbye, Goodbye,” both from “Heartthrob,” came next. Bursting with synths, guitars and percussion, the songs were poppy and dance-inducing despite the Quin sisters’ lovelorn lyrics. “Goodbye, I don’t want to feel the need to hear your voice,” they sang.

The band played just about every song from “Heartthrob,” and many in the audience, mostly in their early 20s to mid-30s, knew every word.

The older material – including “Back in Your Head” from 2007’s “The Con,” “Walking with a Ghost” from 2004’s “So Jealous” and “Alligator” from 2009’s “Sainthood” CD – really brought things to a fever pitch.

Since this was the first time Tegan and Sara have performed in Maine, many in the theater had been waiting patiently to finally hear their favorites live.

The encores were all “oldies”: “Call it Off” and “Dark Come Soon” from 2007 and the show-ending “Living Room” from 2002’s “If It Was You.”

Both sisters were in fine voice, though lyrics to some of the newer, faster songs were tricky to decipher for the few who were unfamiliar with the record.

Both sisters went above and beyond in the appreciation department, showing their gratitude for the red-hot reception they received upon breaking ground here in Maine. They promised to return, and no one left thinking that was anything less than true.

Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at:


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