REVIEW: The Height of My Devo-tion | Tera Melos, Speedy Ortiz, with And the Kids

Attending this show was the height of obstinacy on my part.

Going to see your most recent, former flame’s favorite band is not something I recommend or usually indulge in but I would be DAMNED if I missed a Halloween show with Speedy Ortiz on the bill. Again, I do not advise this as a general move but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t worth it.

And the Kids were kicking off the night at the Sinclair and although my exposure to the band has been minimal to say the performing trio blew me away would be an understatement – the openers pulled their set off like seasoned professionals. The local(ish) act might have been my favorite act of the night, bringing “Existential Glitter Popsicle Crisis” to an audience that was entirely onboard. Vocalist and guitarist Hannah Mohan’s poppy vocals capture innocence and vomit it back out – which was exceptionally appropriate given her Cindy Lou Who costume. While their member Megan Miller remains unable to tour in the US with the rest of the band, And the Kids still manage to craft a full live sound that captures all of the fun of their recorded material.

Speedy Ortiz brought their own magic as Boston’s pseudo-local punks. The band, all dressed as characters from the show Bojack Horseman, took the stage to the show’s theme song, ready to serve up a healthy dose of unapologetic shredding. Actually there was one apology – frontwoman Sadie Dupuis took a brief break to explain the state of her voice, noting that earlier that day she had been diagnosed with vocal nodules. A trained ear may have noticed the slight difference in vocal delivery – there was a bit less growl coming from Princess Caroline – but the spooky announcement just served to demonstrate the obscene amount of dedication and passion Dupuis and her cohorts have for their live show. Drummer Mike Falcone even made it through a significant portion of the set without taking off his horse head – only fully removing the plastic mask to deliver clean vocals. As usual, the band’s set was a mix of the old and new but with the same emphatic delivery that is characteristic of them.

I was only able to catch the first half of Tera Melos’ set as the band performed as Devo – they apparently did a cover of the band later in the night – but the songs I caught were more than enough to capture the intensity that this band is able to deliver. The amount of complexity the trio packs into a single song is absurd. Each band of the night took experimentation with rhythm and technical ability up a notch with Tera Melos serving as the culmination.

It made me glad I’m more Devo-ted to music than avoiding exes – because those are the regrets that will haunt you.

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