Music review: Tegan & Sara, Troxy, London

3.00

 

The 32 year-old identical twins from Canada play the third of their four UK shows in East London's Troxy, filling the Art Deco theatre with their hardcore fans who singalong to nearly all of the 22 songs in their lengthy set.

Playing a selection of tracks from their previous six albums with a large chunk of their latest album, Heartthrob, it is clear that their time spent opening arena tours for The Killers and The Black Keys have given the sisters ideas about competing for a place in big-league pop. Even their older, more earnest, indie-folk songs are even given a synth push. 

There are some tracks left safe from the pop synths and heavy drums: delicately honed acoustic guitar number "Ghost" and "Back In Your Head" are touchingly melodic as is the piano-driven "I Was A Fool",  but most turn towards punchy pop with a rousing rendition of "Good Go" and "Closer" that gives the likes of Haim and Charlie XCX a run for their money. 

"Hop on a Plane" is dedicated to their mother whom they have brought on tour with them as part of a wholesome holiday. They thank her, thank the band, thank the fans, thank their support act and their friend Waxahatchee. They even thank the UK and the worst part is how earth- crushingly sincere they are in doing so unlike so many disingenuous pop acts  

Lyrically they deal with love, rejection, self-doubt and self-acceptance. In the second track of the night "I'm Not Your Hero" they talk about their being role models to other gay women: “I’m not their hero, but that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t brave... that doesn’t mean that I was never afraid.” And while sometimes the vocals are too loud or lost in echoes, it is remarkably refreshing to hear the genuine thoughts of two women who have brought an authenticity to saccharine synth pop with an honest acceptance of vulnerability of frankness, weakness but also empowerment. 

As the pair look back to teen pop idols and the intense emotion of their youth. The result is a pop set that shows their sincerity wrapped up in big, glossy pop that is faithful to the roots of their 16-year long music career. 

Their perspectives of 21st-century womanhood in the pop world of leather-clad brand endorsing, pop alter-ego serves as a great alternative. It's big, glossy pop with a backbone. 

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea