Shygirl @ The Regent [3/31/2022]
Shygirl’s DJ, Hasani, takes the stage and calls out to his guitarist.
There is an awkward pause.
Michael comes through the curtains with his red and orange hued Gibson. That’s Hasani’s que to serenade us with a couple of mellow, heartfelt R&B tunes alongside his guitarist, Michael. Their set is brief, but warm. They step off stage as more concert-goers trickle in.
The people in the aisles snap fit-pics for Instagram (myself included). There is a lot of chatter in the pit.
It feels like every LA neighborhood is at the Regent on this Thursday night.
There are a couple of 30-something white-hetero business men who seem to have just left their 9-5’s in the Financial Core. They’re here to blow off some steam after the company’s announcement to switch off Zoom (again) to the office—they would be the ones shouting “I like good puss” during opener number three’s performance. They seem out of place amongst the dozens of young people sporting false eyelashes, bleached hair, fishnets, and platforms(Doc Martens, Creepers, Amazon luxury’s latest).
They are ready to rave.
I hear something coming from a mic. I scan the stage for the performer. I scan again.
Suddenly, I spot her—a woman in a cloak is murmuring into the mic. She takes off her hood, her yellow hair glowing neon under the black light. It’s the second opener, Cailin Russo. Underneath her cloak, she is dressed in Black leather pants and a Black long sleeve barely-a-shirt. Some people shriek. Must be the ravers.
A couple of aesthetically pleasing sexy dancers clad in Black Carhartts and white Hanes muscle-tees grind behind her as she performs.
We are left to twiddle our thumbs and scroll Instagram for another half-hour, waiting for Shygirl to take the stage. I see a man to my right in a white un-tucked button down and jogger-style khakis leaning up against the wall with a drink in one hand and his phone in the other.
“Excuse me,” he says. He brushes past me to head to the bar.
He’s not here for Shygirl.
After all, the venue has a quicker turn-around time on drinks than most bars in LA. There are two bars in the left and right corners of the venue and the millennials are corralled around them.
Then, a woman with a long blonde braid and a bedazzled black denim romper comes on stage. The people in the pit put their hands in the air.
Is this Shygirl?
She might wear something like that but Shygirl isn’t white.
There’s so much conversation happening around me I can barely hear what’s going on. I hear the phrase “good puss” being chanted along to the only song she plays. It’s the white guys from earlier. She gets off stage.
The audience is getting impatient, and so am I. Maybe Shygirl really is shy!
I’m sipping on a Diet Coke through a paper straw scrolling Insta. Again. I shake the ice in the cup around. I look up and suddenly, I’m on a different planet. A Sour-Patch Watermelon themed backdrop with Shygirl’s logo lights up the stage. It looks like goo in the best way possible.
“You got me feeling like a movie star…” Shygirl sings. She opens the night with her 2021 single “Cleo.” If Shygirl is a movie star she’s certainly not of this earth. Tonight she’s wearing an olive green mesh ballgown with sequins covering her eyelids. She’s intergalactic.
Shygirl, also known as Blaine Muse, is a Southeast London born and raised DJ and musician. Her Cockney accent comes through in her vocals. Her sound is the lovechild of grunge, EDM, and hyper-pop. Her music is something you might hear at a London nightclub. She also runs her own record label, Nuxxe, with Sega Bodega, her bestie, and CouCou Chloe, a fellow artist.
“Who here is from the streets?” she asks the audience. Southeast London, Financial Core, Los Feliz—everyone howls. “She’s for the streets, bitch,” the audience chants the last couple lines of every chorus to the song, “Slime,” another single, like nearly every one of her releases.
“Now I know you got pipes,” she says. And that’s a good thing because she lets us in on the fact that she needs our help with this next one since Lady Gaga couldn’t be there tonight for their song together, “Sour Candy.” Imagine.
Shygirl has already wooed us, but for the next song “BDE,” which she claims to be her “last,” the crowd is on their toes (in particular, the same group of men that was chanting `I like good puss’ earlier).
Shygirl leaves briefly and returns in a furry blue scarf for the encore. She looks like Cruella Deville from 101 Dalmations—if Cruella Deville were an alien headlining a show in LA in 2022.
Shygirl has one more treat for us: “BB.”
In front of me is a sea of fingertips. The crowd is grooving to the fast-paced electronic beat. They must be reaching for the stars or something.
Shygirl thanked us for coming. And then, she got in her spaceship and left us for the night—back to Southeast London or her hotel in LA. Or maybe another galaxy. Probably just the afterparty across the street.