To say I was excited to see Speedy Ortiz would be an understatement. Their new album, Twerp Verse is one of my favourite releases of the year and I look up to frontwoman Sadie Dupuis as if she were the Messiah of indie rock. So, on a cold Friday night, I took myself to Belgrave early so I could get myself a good spot to view what I was expecting to be nothing less than a religious experience.
Doe entered with low and rumbly guitars, but once they get going their sound is incredibly clear, clean and bold. Lead singer, Nicola Leel, provides low and rich vocals which become gritty and sharp as she enters her upper register. This band play like clockwork, with drummer, Jake Popyura, being the second hand, providing backing vocals for their grungy verses and contrasting their cheerful hooks. They are well-rehearsed -this gig comes off the back of a 10-date tour of their own- but they aren’t worn out: their timing is immaculate, and an immense sense of teamwork is demonstrated. They’re having fun and the crowd are lapping it up and showing obvious upset when they realise the band can’t play for as long as they’d hoped.
As for Speedy Ortiz, something was off. The crowd who were seated immediately get up and join the rest of the audience while frontwoman Sadie Dupuis jumps around, laughing with her bandmates in what looks like an attempt to get the energy up. Her vocals are lost though, and this seems to be the main source of frustration. However, once her microphone gets turned up, everything falls into place. This is testament to how crucial Dupuis’ song-writing is to this band: her witty, honest and clever lyrics were lost and so were the audience. The atmosphere immediately picks up as the band plays a mixture of their grungy, older material as well as their newer, indie rock. Their set finishes with songs which perfectly encapsulate everything that there is to love about Speedy Ortiz: blaring guitars, a great sense of humour and a lot of charm.
Header Image Credit: Erik Voake