TVD Live: Hop Along with Speedy Ortiz at Thalia Hall, 5/19

Hop Along and Speedy Ortiz came through Chicago’s Thalia Hall last Thursday along with Love of Everything.

Bobby Burg (of Joan of Arc, Vacations, and Make Believe) graced his hometown with tunes from his solo project, Love of Everything. With a table of gadgets to provide drumbeats and rhythm along with looping his guitar, Burg, created layers upon layers of sound. The crowd waited in anticipation with every song to watch it all come together. When Burg made the perfect addition with his soft and sweet vocals it seemed to complete the sound in one grand aha moment. Love of Everything’s latest EP, Sooner I Wish, is currently available.

Massachusetts’ Speedy Ortiz kept the show moving with their sing song melodies backed by the intense grunge sound. A few songs in lead singer, Sadie Dupuis, told the crowd “I forgot to turn my shoes on!” and spent the rest of the night hopping to the music in her glowing sneakers. Dupuis’ vocals purred over heavy guitar riffs, but her lyrics showed her fierceness. Lines like “I’m not bossy; I’m the boss” and “I got too many boyfriends to see you tonight” let it be known she was not be messed with.

Newer songs such as “The Graduates” and “Raising the Skate” got the crowd excited as Dupuis took time between each song to say how happy they were to be there. Speedy Ortiz’s last two albums Foil Deer and Major Arcana are currently available on 12” vinyl.

It’s hard to define Philadelphia’s Hop Along. At times their music is light and folky. Other times it is pulsating rock with unlimited drive. But the mood always changes once vocalist Frances Quinlan begins to sing. Her voice is gentle and inviting before she growls into the mic reaching beyond what anyone could imagine. There’s beautiful vibrato, but also a harsh edge to each song. It makes their sound complex, but also very engaging.

The band took joy in playing together, taking moments to jam with each other before switching instruments mid set for a song. While the set consisted of mostly new songs, they delighted fans when playing crowd-favorite “Tibetan Pop Stars”. Hop Along’s sophomore album, Get Disowned, was recently re-issued and their current album, Painted Shut, is also available on vinyl.

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