Is Northampton close enough to consider Speedy Ortiz locals? It’s semantics at this point, considering they are emerging as the region’s leading scattered, skittering, and scalding guitar rock combo.
Last Wednesday, the quartet celebrated the release of their sophomore LP Foil Deer with this tour kickoff show, and from opener “Good Neck” onward, they railed through the entire thing in sequential order. Mostly, that is, aside from the false start to “The Graduates,” where an off-the-cuff remark about Metallica from Sadie Dupuis prompted drummer Mike Falcone to pound out the drum pattern of “One” and suddenly Dupuis channeled her inner Hetfield to follow suit until cutting it off after a few seconds and a few laughs.
The arrival of guitarist Devin McKnight really changed the dynamics of the band for the better, with some nasty riffs and leads amid the playful interplay of Dupuis’ serrated rhythms.
Brooklyn-trio Mitski blurred the lines between pop, emo and punk (think of a thornier Best Coast) as well, adorned with alarming confident and self-effacing lyrics. A mid set speech from leader Mitski Miyawaki about inner and exterior beauty and the expectations of self and society had the audience in the palm of her hand, and she never let them go.
Based on the energy on and off stage, the tour is off to a fantastic start. Check out the images below.