It’s impossible to leave a The Regrettes concert with regret.
Blazing onstage at the Fillmore, the pop band was determined to end their tour with a bang. The Los Angeles group channels an addictive blend of riot grrrl rumble and brazen bubblegum pop, belting tongue-in-cheek angst alongside intoxicating punk beats.
Lead singer Lydia Night kickstarted the crowd with “Dress Up.” A rolling electric guitar pulsed underneath Night as she mischievously separated the crowd in half, proclaiming “I need to see every person in this room having the best time”. As the chorus crescendoed with a glorious electric guitar, the crowd crashed into each other in a jumping, dancing and singing ‘“wall of death” conducted by gleeful maestro Night.
While the theater may have been more than encouraged to move, The Regrettes were more than happy to lead by example. At the crux of “Barely on My Mind,” Night leaped into the packed theater – reclining atop breakup mania and darling rage as she floated along the rolling crowd. Later climbing atop stacked speakers, Night swanned into a cover of Lily Allen’s saccharine “Smile,” charging the 2000s throwback with spectral grit.
After supercharging the theater, Night reached for her guitar for “Better Now.” Spinning in front of a blue sky background complete with fake puffy clouds, she sang, “And when will I start to break the walls I built in far too well? / I miss the time when my heart was in my center”. Guitarists Genessa Gariano and Brooke Dickson joined Night center stage as the three pointed their strumming guitars to the sky, transforming for a split-second into a roaring three headed punk-pop beast.
The Regrettes’ songs burst into full color live; the band’s medley of crooned rock vocals and vibrating punk joy demand booming acoustics that explode through an undulating crowd. While their sound is stitched with insistent drums, The Regrettes never fail to deftly touch on the softer moments in life. Night gave voice to sleepover crushes and almost-romance bliss with “You’re so F–ing Pretty.” Perched nearly inside the crowd on a bordering banister, her hands intertwined with members of the audience as she looked deep into the theater. Alongside wistful piano, she softly sang, “You give a little and I fall a little too much / I give a little, I’m too late, you slip from my clutch.”
The band’s attachment to their work and the audience came through as Night took a moment of pause and emphasized how much heart she saw in the audience, “I know it’s been a rough couple of years for everyone and so being able to just be with human beings sweating and dancing is crazy, so thank you for being here.” Smiling through tears and backing away from the microphone, Night was quickly swarmed by fellow band members in a heartwarming dogpile embrace.
In a surprise appearance, Night called to an overlooking balcony housing her boyfriend Dylan Minnette, actor and member of the indie-pop band Wallows, beckoning him onstage. Night declared Minnette as a gift to drummer Drew Thomsen, as Minnette took over the helm at the drums in order for Thomsen to leap into the crowd for his very first crowd surf.
The Regrettes captures the abrasive feeling of heartbreak pumped full of retrospective woe and bouncing passion — the band’s exigent delight is an addictive salve to life’s challenges. For moments of fleeting anguish endured by the crowd, joining a wave of hands flipping off the world to “Seashore” (per Night’s request) was almost certain to alleviate most personal torment.
The Regrettes seized the Fillmore with rambunctious zeal. The band’s signature punk-pop sound blossomed onstage into a distillation of youthful angst that inspired just as much as it raged.