Speedy Ortiz is a band we’ve liked for a few years. They’re doing it the ‘right way,’ going on long tours across the country, hitting towns most other bands avoid. Sometimes those towns feature tweakers looking for victims in the middle of the day, shows with two people in the audience and a guy in a wheelchair that doesn’t need to be in a wheelchair that really wants to fight. -ed.
We had a show at the VFW in Missoula in the summer of 2012 and no one came, except for this Missoula guy, so it was just one person watching us. Or maybe him and his girlfriend, I think it was a couple – it was a couple that was watching us. By the time we got to play we were waiting around for a long time before we started playing because they were like, “People are going to show up soon,” but no one showed up. So that gave us plenty of time to drink too much and it was one of the drunkest shows we’ve ever played, but it didn’t even matter. I think the couple was the one playing after us, which is even worse. We’re like, ‘what do we just leave?’ And then they all let us play and we left. It was cool except that we had to abandon the person going after us, so they played for no one. We felt really bad about that.
Then we went to this house, it was like a crazy punk house where there were animals running around and stuff. And there was a guy in a wheelchair (more on him later -ed.) trying to get someone to fight him when we walked up. And then we played in the basement for five or six people and there was like a lot of moshing which is kind of strange for our music. We were added onto the show literally five minutes before we showed up.
I remember there being a few more people while we were playing maybe like, I’d say like 10. There were a lot of people at the house but they weren’t like watching us. I don’t know what they were doing, drugs or something. Whatever people do. Earlier, in the middle of the day I just walked down to a river and park and saw people doing crack out in the open.
The guy in the wheelchair came up to me later while I was talking to someone and asked me if I was his friend. I told him I didn’t know him and he said “Well, if you’re not my friend then I have to hit you,” or something along those lines. Luckily someone else started talking to him and I just walked away really fast.
He wasn’t supposed to be in a wheelchair, he was just sitting in a wheelchair. He wasn’t handicapped at all, he just was sitting in a wheelchair. Later I saw him walking around trying to fight people. He was just a huge asshole.
The person who let us stay there lived in a shed outside and our guitarist at the time slept in the shed after there was a weird performance by someone called Bad Naked, a hairy guy in his late 20s, and there was like six or seven girls watching, also in their underwear and they just kept playing these songs. They were clapping and cheering. I’m pretty sure everyone was in their underwear, definitely Bad Naked was, I think he probably encouraged everyone to get down in their underwear.
It was pretty late at night at that point. I don’t think that I stepped foot inside the house until the next morning. Our guitarist slept in the shed and we all slept in the van. I tried to figure out a place to sleep that would be better but we just all ended up in the van. And this other band that played before us at the house, that played before we got there, they slept in their van. No one wanted to sleep inside the house and I don’t blame them because there were dogs running in and out, it was like the door was open, weird.
They (the people living in the house) were also doing a thing where they were trying to have 50 shows in 50 days, this was like day 28 or something like that.
I also remember the next morning the person that lives in the shed, I don’t think she slept at all that night because she was wide awake the next morning when I woke up, and [there was a] party at a new house and the reason they chose it is because there was a staircase that went into a wall – that’s the reason she gave me. I really wish I knew the information of any of these people because I would love to play that place just to see the staircase that went into a wall.
Recounted by Mike Falcone and Darl Ferm to Brandon Wetherbee. Edited for clarity.