It’s estimated that 100,000 people attend each day of Lollapalooza. While the festival is known for presenting epic headlining performances and star-making sets, it also gives fans the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see their favorite bands at intimate Chicago venues – many of which are exponentially smaller than the acts typically play – with its buzz-worthy aftershows.
On Thursday, Aug. 3, Park West was the place to be after the gates closed on Day One of the festival, which ended early due to a weather evacuation. Tegan and Sara took the stage to perform lovelorn duets and pop-infused dance tracks in advance of their Lollapalooza set the following day. The 900-capacity club naturally allowed fans to feel “Closer” to the sisters Quin, but somehow the Canadian duo took things one step further in creating a space where everyone felt like old friends.
After performing fan favorites “Back in Your Head” and “How Come You Don’t Want Me” at the top of the set, Tegan reached out to fans in the front row, shaking their hands and smiling at each individual. Unlike many bands that put up an invisible wall between the stage and the crowd, Tegan and Sara regularly looked directly in the eyes of concert-goers to check in and make sure everyone was having a great time.
As the photographers made their way out of the photo pit, Sara waved a charming farewell before the duo aptly went into their “Heartthrob” hit, “Goodbye, Goodbye.” Prior to performing the sad song, “I Was A Fool,” Tegan asked the sold-out crowd if anyone had a bummed-out story they would like to share.
“We want to send love and energy to everyone who is suffering through something terrible tonight,” she said after reflecting on the depth of life and death with one fan, whose parent was ill.
None of the traditional rock star airs were present at the show at Park West as the duo often related with the crowd on the fact that the performance was way past their bedtime.
“All bets are off if you play after midnight,” joked Sara before warning fans of the unexpected consequences of combining too much Red Bull with the heavy bass of electronic music. “Lorde is not going to tell you this stuff,” she quipped, citing that the young Lollapalooza headliner has an image to uphold.
Later this year, Tegan and Sara are set to embark on an acoustic tour in honor of the 10-year anniversary of their iconic album, “The Con.” Chicago fans got a sneak preview of the show in the form of a stripped down version of “Nineteen.” The results found everyone in attendance singing along with its lyrics that detail the devastating repercussions of young love. Further highlights from the set included “Hang on to the Night” – dedicated to all of the group’s LGBTQ friends and fans – and the merciless, guitar-laden “Northshore,” which had everyone throughout the venue channeling their inner punk. Near the end of the set, “Closer” and “Boyfriend” united everyone in the universal catharsis that comes from dancing your romantic woes away.
Fellow Lollapalooza musicians Frenship warmed up the aftershow stage with a set full of trance-like rhythms, drum-offs and all around good vibes.
Following Lollapalooza, Tegan and Sara will continue their festival domination by performing at Osheaga, Fashion Meets Music and High and Low Fest before heading across North America on The Con X: Tour.
Head over to TeganAndSara.com for a full list of tour dates.