Review Summary: A must have for any Tegan and Sara fan.2 of 2 thought this review was well written
It is an unfortunate truth that many people dismiss Tegan and Sara as just another generic girl-pop band, or as "oh, that lesbian band". Yes, they are identical twin sisters who both happen to be lesbian, but this is no gimmick or marketing ploy. Those who have taken the time to dig a little deeper will know that they are one of the most genuine, hard-working and unique indie pop bands going around, and have steadily built a formidable body of work over the past decade. Their ability to fuse catchy hooks with heartfelt and often brutally honest lyrics, along with their excellent live performances, has earned them a large, loyal and dedicated fan base. Their newest CD/DVD package Get Along
is a big thank you to the fans, something extra to tide them over until their next LP arrives later in 2012.
We'll kick things off with the CD Get Along
, Tegan and Sara's first live album. Rather than just recording any old show and slapping it onto a disc, this recording comes from two small intimate shows recorded in a warehouse with family, friends and a handful of lucky fans in attendance. The setlist consists of stripped back songs - (mostly acoustic) guitars, some occasional keyboards, and beautiful vocal performances from both sisters. The album starts with a bang - Sara nails a rearranged rendition of 'Alligator', before Tegan takes the reins on 'I Know I Know I Know'. The twins go back and forth taking lead during the performance while also providing beautiful backing vocals for each other's songs, in most cases improving on the album recordings. Sara in particular is on top form throughout. The setlist draws heavily from the three most recent studio albums with a few older gems thrown in here and there, and the entire record is a joy to listen to. However, it isn't quite perfect. One of the biggest attractions of Tegan and Sara's live show is the humour and banter between songs, which is sadly absent on Get Along
. All of the tracks fade out after brief applause which is somewhat disruptive to the flow and takes away from the 'live' feel that it should have. There are one or two odd song choices - particularly 'Night Watch', and the absence of popular live tracks 'Living Room', 'Walking with a Ghost' and 'The Con' is baffling. That said, they have a deep catalogue of fantastic songs to draw from, and the entire performance is of high quality and immensely enjoyable.
The DVD comprises three films - States
and For the Most Part
. The first film, States
, is a look back to the band's humble beginnings and their first tour into the US from their native Canada. The film is rather light on interviews and insight, but makes up for it with some rocking live footage. It is a short film at just 31 minutes, but every second is thoroughly entertaining.
chronicles Tegan and Sara's trip to India to play a show, bringing friends and family along. In contrast to States
, it features mostly interview footage with those in and around the band and gives a keen insight into their life on tour. Both sisters are refreshingly candid, cutting the bullshit and giving deep, honest interviews. There is a lot of content squeezed into the 24 minute runtime, including superb busker-style public performances of 'On Directing' and 'Walking with a Ghost'.
The last of the three, For the Most Part
, is the video accompaniment to the Get Along
CD. This film is by far the best part of the whole CD/DVD package, and could quite easily have been released on its own. Footage includes the setup of the shows recorded for Get Along
, the shows in their entirety (including all the conversation and banter cut from the CD version), and a fantastic rooftop acoustic rendition of 'Hell'. The concert is filmed very well, with the superb camerawork and audio clearly transmitting the intimate feel of the setting. It is during this film that it hits how close the twins are, how special this band really is, and how much it means to so many people.
Would I recommend Get Along
to everybody? Honestly, no. The CD can be enjoyed by anybody, but the DVD is tailored for fans and could potentially bore those not familiar with the band. However, I would recommend Tegan and Sara's music to everybody. Especially those into indie pop, female vocals, and genuine honest songwriting - check this band out and you won't be sorry. Not only will their songs get stuck in your head, they will find a home in your heart.