The Regrettes brought their How Do You Love? Tour to St. Paul’s Amsterdam Bar & Hall Saturday night and their rousing performance left all wondering, how do you not love this young punk band. Even before they took the stage you had to love a band that comes out into the audience to watch their opening band’s set. Yes, there was eighteen-year-old frontwoman Lydia Night and guitarist Genessa Gariano truly enjoying the show with fans seemingly oblivious to who was standing next to them. Night could not keep herself from dancing and adding cheerleader-like pom pom routines while wearing a genuine smile.
The band the girls were enjoying was Greer. The band’s name is quite meaningful as they are named after their close friend Emma Greer, who died from cancer at the young age of 16. This upstart band is on their first tour and have already developed quite a following based on the mass of youngsters packed tight to the stage ahead of the performance. And the screams. As their frontman Josiah observed, “We have some screamers here.” Take the stage, scream. Tune guitar, scream. Accept mini skeleton from a fan, scream. Oh, the energy of teenage fans. Wearing his trademark orange stocking cap over his straight cut long hair he told excited fans they were going to play some new songs, saying, “You won’t be able to sing along, but tell us what you think of them.” After wrapping up a trio of new pieces he asked, “What did you think of the new songs?” You know what the fans did of course. And he asked them for one more scream out to their fifth member, Niko, who was out sick in the back. “He’s out here in spirt with us. Besides the new stuff, they played their two well-known songs, “Song For Me” and “Bittersweet”, along with several covers. After giving a shout out to The Strokes, after playing one of their songs, the bassist, Seth, joked, “If you haven’t figured it out, we are a cover band.” Josiah added, “We could just keep touring with our two songs and playing a bunch of covers.” Except now they have those new songs too. Before closing out the night, the lead singer explained why he was sipping tea all set, “I’ve been sick for three days, but the show must go on.” And the shows will keep going on for this up and coming band.
A recording of Lydia Night speaking her poem, “Are You in Love?” started the show and the four-piece California punk rockers filtered onto the stage before it’s ending line surmises, “Yes, it appears you are in love.” Drummer Drew Thomsen’s bass drum and clapping kicked off “California Friends”, which also follows the poem on The Regrettes’ new album, How Do You Love?. This energetic song is a great opener and had the band and fans bouncing right away. “We are so excited to be back,” Night told us. “We want everyone to dance their asses off.” They continued with the equally likeable “Dress Up” from the album before playing my personal favorite, the danceable “Come Through” from their Attention Seeker EP. This appeared to be a favorite of many as it really got the crowd moving to the beat of bassist Brooke Dickson. Next, it was time for some organized crowd participation as Night split the room in half and had each side sing, “You can’t love me, so go love you.” They continued alternating and getting louder and faster to launch “Go Love You” from How Do You Love?
After a little shoulder shrug Night played the catchy “Picture Perfect”, from the album The Regrettes released when she was just sixteen, Feel Your Feelings Fool!. We would also hear a few more from their debut album in this bunch of songs, including the peppy “Hey Now” and the 60’s-style “Lacy Loo” that sings “I need someone to dance with me, baby.” Tonight, the petite Gariano strutting across the stage with the lead singer on their guitars would have to do.
Night says most of the new album’s songs about falling in love were written by her before her relationship with Dylan Minnette, but “Pumpkin” is a song she wrote about him. “Here You Go” and “I Dare You” were yet more high energy songs from the current release and Night and Gariano faced each other to start it off with fans soon yelling “I Dare You” without prompting. Appearing ready to talk to the crowd again, instead, Night and Company tore into their most furious punk song of the night, “More Than a Month”. After “Fog” made it five in a row from How Do You Love?, it was time for 2016’s spirited “Seashore”, in which Night vents her feelings about those who discounted her abilities because of her age. Nearing the end of the show, Night told us that this was officially the last week of their tour and they have loved having Greer with them. She also had something special for the crowd to do for “Stop and Go”. “When I say stop, I want you to put your hand up. Then go crazy, like you never have before.” It made for a cool sight with the crowd doing this in unison. They closed out the main set with the title track, How Do You Love?, before quickly returning for an encore.
Guitarist Gariano, told the crowd, “The next song is one you all know, so I need you all to sing along. Because in less than three hours, Lydia turns 19!” Drummer, Thomsen, directed the crowd in a singing of “Happy Birthday” while some fans stretched out a banner they had brought to the show. After some hugs and maybe a few tears, Night thanked everyone for the birthday wishes and gave us a gift with her singing of “Coloring Book”, a guitar slow-cooker that showcases the young singer’s mid-range voice. Before playing their final song, Night asked all of her “dudes” to back up and make room for all the ladies to come towards the front. She continued with a short speech about empowerment and demanded that the ladies form a mosh pit as they concluded with the feminist-tinged “Poor Boy”.
That was a lot of show packed into a one-hour set. Truly one of my favorite shows of the year. There’s no doubt The Regrettes are on the verge of something big. With the happiness just oozing out of her, Lydia Night is a rising young star that will continue to impress audiences, young and old, for years to come. How do you not love The Regrettes? Happy Birthday Lydia!
California Friends / Dress Up / Come Through / Go Love You / Picture Perfect / Hey Now / Lacy Loo / Pumpkin / Here You Go / I Dare You / More Than A Month / Fog / Seashore / Stop and Go / How Do You Love?
Encore: Happy Birthday (to Lydia) / Coloring Book / Poor Boy.