A trio of acts took the stage Thursday night at The Echo that could all make a case to be on the soundtrack for a Reality Bites reboot. Massachusetts indie rockers Speedy Ortiz topped the bill, with support from Detroit’s Anna Burch and Los Angeles band Winter.
It was one of the best top-to-bottom nights of music I’ve seen all year, each act bringing something different to the table while still complementing each other nicely.
Up first was local band Winter — a name I have seen on bills around town for months but was only getting to see live for the first time. It’s the project of Samira Winter, who was born in Brazil to a Brazilian mother and American father. The band has a dreamy pop sound and Winter’s vocals are a bit reminiscent of Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell meets Sixpence None The Richer in their sweetness.
Winter played a number of songs off her self-released (via PledgeMusic) record Ethereality, which dropped in April. One of my favorites was “Alligator” with its chorus “And you’re the reason why I never feel down”.
Up next was Anna Burch, who signed to Polyvinyl before dropping her debut record Quit the Curse in February. Burch’s music particularly sounds in line with ’90s alt-rock tinged singer-songwriters. Burch talked about waking up on a boat, not a bad way to start the day you’re playing your first LA show. She also mentioned going and seeing the places Elliott Smith lived and how she “felt some things”.
“Asking 4 a Friend” was preceded by the note that the song is about dating your drug dealer. “I’m just asking for a friend, but it’s good to see you, good to see you again,” she sings — a situation I know an odd amount of people have been in. Burch shouted in the song’s chorus, showing a lot of rawness. Her voice sort of has a Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries vibe — minus the late singer’s prominent Irish accent.
Closing the show was Speedy Ortiz, a band I hadn’t seen live since catching their set at Shaky Knees 2015. The band put out the full-length record Twerp Verse at the end of April. About half of the setlist came from the new record, their most cohesive record to date.
Sadie Dupuis and her band have that ’90s rock sound in the vein of Veruca Salt. Dupuis’ vocals and the riff-driven rock fits The Echo vibes perfectly. The dueling vocals of “Lucky 88” between Dupuis and touring bassist Audrey Zee Whitesides were fun and energetic.
Dupuis sure knows how to write a hook that’s accompanied by the kind of rock you want to jump around to. Dupuis’ songs deal with some heavy subject matter at times — from sexual harassment to relationship problems, our current political climate, and much more. She’s a master wordsmith and her skills at waxing poetic about these kinds of things while still keeping it catchy is impressive.
Dupuis and her bandmates bounced around the stage for their hour-long set, and when midnight came most of the crowd still wanted more. Thursday night IS Friday night in LA after all, and everyone seemed stoked to kick off their weekend with this exciting triple bill of performers.
Photos by Frank Mojica