Tegan and Sara's European Tour Diary: Part II

Tegan Quin and Lindsey Byrnes
Identical twin sisters and indie-pop deities Tegan and Sara released Sainthood in 2009 and have since been touring the Chris Walla-produced album like crazy. At the moment, they're traveling across Europe, playing shows in Ireland, Denmark, Holland, Germany and England. Throughout the journey, Tegan will be sharing tales from the road with PAPERMAG, alongside photos snapped by Lindsey Byrnes. Here's her second installment:

My name is Tegan Quin and it's been two days since my last nap. As I write this I'm sitting backstage in Amsterdam at The Paradiso. We go on stage in one hour exactly. Since I last wrote we have been very, very busy. After our four days in Belfast we traveled to Dublin. I've only been there once, from what I remember. It kind of reminds me of SoHo or the East Village in Manhattan. Though I saw most of it from the window of our bus and the van that took us to our in-store so don't take my word as gospel. As we sped to Tower Records in downtown Dublin we passed the Clarence Hotel. Shaun, our bass player pointed out that the Clarence is owned by Bono from U2. I would have liked to pop in to see if Bono was working the front desk but we were short on time.

Tower closed its doors in America in 2006 (sad) but still lives on in a few franchise locations on this side of the world. While we were there Sara found an amazing book about learning to play guitar. Bikini clad women teach the young "lads" how to play basic chords and work on their up and down strokes (seriously). As record stores go the way of the dinosaur Sara and I cling to the hope that playing in the ones that remain will encourage people to buy our record, or any record for that matter. In this case we also encouraged them to buy the guitar book with the bikini-clad instructors.

After the record store performance we headed to the Olympia (built in 1879) to get ready for our second gig. The audience, like the Belfast one before it, was fantastic. The theater has three levels and was busting at the seams. Any jet lag I had was definitely knocked out of me after that show.

The next day we took an early Aer Lingus flight (yes we made jokes about the name all morning) to Amsterdam for our day off. First we took an amazing boat tour of the canals of Amsterdam and then I broke off to go and tour around Rembrandt Square. While I was there I nervously declined a young, heavily accented gentleman's offer to join him for drinks -- three times. When I was finally able to, I scampered away to the safety of a crowd on the next corner. I'm pretty sure he wanted me to be his heroin mule but perhaps I've watched too many movies like The Beach and Broke Down Palace to know for sure. Today I toured The Van Gogh Museum and The Rijke Museum. Good to balance all this rock 'n' roll with a bit of higher learning (not a subtle reference to drugs because I'm in Amsterdam). Two days in Amsterdam taking in the sun and sights and I'm pretty convinced I'm going to spend a summer here riding my bike and living on a canal (that's what she said). For now I'm going to bring a map home to my mother because The Paridiso, the venue we're playing tonight, is on the "Hop on, Hop off" red bus tour map. You know you've made it when...  -Tegan

Photos by Lindsey Byrnes

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