The Philly-based rock group Speedy Ortiz entered the room in a colorful blaze for this week’s Free at Noon concert at World Cafe Live. Sadie Dupuis – the mastermind behind the group’s songwriting and formation – took center stage to perform lead vocals and guitar. To her sides were bassist Audrey Zee Whitesides and guitarist Andy Molholt, who took on keys and electronics as well. Drummer Joey Doubek backed the four-piece band, who brought consistent energy and excitement throughout their roughly 30-minute set.

Speedy kicked off the show with a “The Graduates,” a fave from their 2015 album Foil Deer. The older track set the tone for their set, and introduced the unfamiliar audience members to their brand of unpredictable chord changes and bright hooks. With a new album titled Rabbit Rabbit slated for release Sept. 1st, the group made sure to present their singles to the radio audience. The record’s first single “Scabs,” which Dupuis revealed had been written in the Kingsessing post office, was followed by “Ghostwriter.” Fresh off its Aug. 1st release, the raw energy of the track’s ferocious opening chords brought the entire band to jumping excitement. The band reached deep into their back catalog for “Silver Spring,” off of their 2012 EP Sports, which saw Dupuis rip a searing guitar solo.

The new album’s singles “Plus One” and “You S02” were featured in the later half of the band’s performance, along with the standout track “Lucky 88” from their 2018 LP, Twerp Verse. Many of their live arrangements contained electronic intros or sparse pre-recorded elements that spiced up their presentation. It became clear during “You S02” that Dupuis and the band have a knack for bright, major chorus melodies that occasionally feel fit for a TV title sequence or theme song, with the aforementioned cut being the best example. The band wrapped with “Plough” from their 2013 record Major Arcana.

Following their set, Dupuis and Whitesides rushed to meet fans and sell merch outside of the auditorium. When asked about her favorite song from the upcoming album, Dupuis stated that the non-single “Cry Cry Cry” was her favorite Speedy song she had ever written. “I felt like I got to a different level in songwriting and production with it… it also feels like the most emotionally terrifying song I’ve worked on,” she said with a laugh. Whitesides named “Ghostwriter” as her fave, while also co-signing “Cry Cry Cry” as one to hear.

Make sure to check out Rabbit Rabbit, the first Speedy Ortiz album since 2018, on Sept. 1st. The band will be at Johnny Brenda’s on Sept. 5th, with tickets available through our Concerts and Events page.

Speedy Ortiz
Free At Noon
  • The Graduates
  • Scabs
  • Ghostwriter
  • Silver Spring
  • Plus One
  • Lucky 88
  • You S02
  • Plough