The Regrettes: The Modern-Day Riot Grrrl Group In Concert

by Seeta Charan

Earlier this year we got a taste of the Regrettes when they did an interview with us but I had the privilege of seeing them in concert and I couldn’t be more impressed. It only took one song to fall in love with the Regrettes, and now I’m stuck waiting for more with only one killer album to keep me at bay. The Regrettes are a four-person punk band who use their music to push people to be honest about who they are and what they’re feeling. Their first album, entitled Feel Your Feeling Fool!, is filled with songs where the lead woman, Lydia Night, expresses the ups and downs of teenage life. I know, the idea sounds familiar, but the band uses their unapologetic attitude to create a new feel.

They’re currently on tour, and I managed to catch them at Rough Trade in Brooklyn on Wednesday night. Watching them from the side of the stage, I kept replaying the thoughts that Lydia was only 16 years old, and that the band hadn’t even been together all that long. Even though they’re still very young and new, they play with the grace and comfort of a band that has been doing this for years. The playful banter exchanged between the band members in between songs made the concert much more intimate. When fans in the crowd shouted compliments at the band, they would laugh and respond. At one point, fans yelled at Maxx, the somewhat secluded drummer and the only boy in the band, and he smiled shyly and pushed his hair back. With this, I was reminded again that they are just kids, and that they’re still getting used to the whole idea. This was so easy to forget when watching them play. Lydia was dancing around the stage barefoot in a blue pantsuit, displaying a comfort on stage I was only used to seeing from older performers.

Their stage presence was only the start of their impressive performance. The band’s lyrics are far beyond their years. The strength conveyed in their lyrics in songs like “Hey Now” and “Hot” show you an interpretation of young life that isn’t all that common. One of the reasons the group is gaining popularity is honesty in their lyrics. The Regrettes take issues that usually result in insecurity and vulnerability and give them a powerful voice. Longing for a relationship to move faster than it is usually comes across in a needy way in songs, but “Hey Now” completely gives Lydia the upper hand in a refreshing way. These songs convey the high school emotions I was feeling but that were never reflected in the music I was listening to. That was the band’s intention when writing, and the love and appreciation that the crowd was expressing at Rough Trade made it clear that their music filled that void for others too.

When they were all standing in front of me after the concert it was hard not to be starstruck after that kind of show. I couldn’t help but be floored when seeing people so young and so talented (and fashionable beyond belief) with such developed political opinions. Their most recent song “Seashore” is a very pointed song in defiance of men who have oppressed women throughout history. While most of the women are from the past like suffragettes and accused witches, one of the women is a modern day politician sing accusations directed at an unnamed bully who is clearly the one and only President Trump. By using their voice to confront the political issues of our time they’re a very satisfying and empowering sound. The Regrettes are proof that the upcoming generation of feminist punk music is gaining strength and followers. After witnessing that amazing concert I know the Regrettes are just getting started.

Here’s their newest video, “Seashore”:

And their first release, “A Living Human Girl”:


Photo Credit: The Regrettes Instagram and their YouTube Channel

The Regrettes’ latest album – Feel Your Feelings Fool! – can be purchased here.

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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