Concert Review: The Regrettes @ U Street Music Hall (10/1/19)

The Regrettes
The Regrettes (Photo from FB @regrettes)

The Regrettes came through DC and killed their great punk and garage rock set for the super-packed, sold out U Street Music Hall on October 1st. A mightly fine way to kick off October and the Fall season.

As the song “Are You In Love?” trickled out of the speakers, the backlit stage empty, the crowd rippled in anticipation.

Then the four members of The Regrettes took their positions to healthy ovation, and launched into “More Than a Month”, a song from their newly released second album How Do You Love? From LA, the band is Lydia Night (vocals, guitar), Genessa Gariano (guitar), Brooke Dickson (bass) and Drew Thomsen (drums).

Aside from it being hard to find a place to stand, a group of women came ready for a ‘month-long Halloween’ mode (presumably), sporting green costumes of the witch variety. They get a mention because, although they were outliers in dress, they were not outliers in enthusiasm while witnessing the punk band live. It seems The Regrettes are well known in DC. Plus, the second song was “Dress Up”. There are no coincidences in music.

Next they performed “Come Through”, a big hit from their first album and one of my favorites in their oeuvre. It proved to be a solid excuse for both the band and those revelers jammed up near the stage to jump in unison to the catchy chorus.

Lydia spoke to the crowd a little bit, but mostly sang her witty or fiery lyrics about empowerment and love and friendship. She wanted the crowd to sing along with “Go Love You”, and many willing and able applicants selflessly joined her in chanting out the lyrics about a selfish person, incapable of love.

This was the second time I’ve experienced one of their live performances, the first at the Black Cat in 2018. I almost caught them again, but they had to postpone that show due to illness.

Another older favorite is “Seashore”, where Lydia indicated it had super duper special meaning in DC, and she dedicated it to our current President (read the lyrics) as they rocked out amidst the purple lights of the spinning disco balls.

“Pumpkin” seems especially relevant for Fall, but is used as a term of endearment here. The lyrics ‘blueberry eyes seem to make time stand still’ is for that special someone you want to stare into your soul.

They played 16 songs overall, committing their set almost entirely to new material, with 11 from How Do You Love? (which itself has a robust 15 songs in total.)

“Here You Go” has a fun, pop friendly opening and chorus, and the medlody turns into more emphatic shouts from Lydia about helping family (and friends), even when maybe they don’t deserve it.

The recent single “I Dare You” sneaks in being there for your significant other, all while imploring you musically to dance without any cares in the world.

After a tight 45 minute main set, The Regrettes left for a tense moment (of clapping and cheering) and came back for two songs. They ended with “Poor Boy” a proclamation of empowerment over the toxic masculinity we experience in today’s society. Good music and weighty messages to contemplate and act on. That’s what The Regrettes offer.

Pick up your copy of How Do You Love? (and their first album too, Feel Your Feelings Fool!), and be on the look out for their next foray into the heart of DC. You will be happy you did.

(Audio only) Are You In Love?
More Than a Month
Dress Up
Come Through
Go Love You
Hey Now
Lacy Loo
Here You Go
I Dare You
California Friends
How Do You Love?

Stop and Go
Poor Boy

Author: Jeremy Bailey

Writer and editor living in Washington, D.C.

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