Words and Photos by Josh Vega
Combining sounds of R&B, New Wave, and, Dance music The Black Queen did not disappoint, playing The Regent in Los Angeles, California on March 28, 2019. Joining The Black Queen was New York punk band, Uniform and dreampop act SRSQ coming along for the ride, offering a well rounded, mixed show that complimented headlining act, The Black Queen well.
Upon entering the venue I walked through a small hallway through some double doors, as I swing open the doors I was greeted to a large theater, a flock of show attendees dressed in primarily black, and post punk reverberating through out the massive hall. While waiting for the opening act, concert goers socialized, treated themselves to drinks, standing eagerly for the show to start.
As the lights dimmed and the background music faded away Solo act SRSQ took the stage. armed with just a synthesizer, drum machine and the singer’s strong, hypnotic voice, SRSQ had the crowd mesmerized, delivering a swirling, wall of dreampop and synthetic drums. Comprised of a set of about 5-6 songs, SRSQ paused after each song to take a sip of a drink and let the crowd absorb what they just experienced.
Following the ethereal sounds of SRSQ was Uniform that is a direct contrast to the opening act. Where SRSQ serenaded the venue, Uniform did the complete opposite and tore it apart. A two-piece noise/punk act from New York gave the crowd a shot of adrenaline keeping the audience on their toes. As soon as the band took to the stage the crowd knew what they were in for when the lights turned red and the front man comes out staring into peoples faces, wide eyed with a touch of crazy. With out hesitation, Uniform’s distorted guitar, gruff vocals, and heavy bass drums give a blast of energy to the crowd inducing headbanging and a small mosh pit. In addition to Uniform’s off kilter sound was their off kilter stage antics including a moment where a man dressed as TV character Gumby approaches the stage to get an autograph from the singer. Following the frontman signing Gumby’s autograph he the proceeds to scream in the giant green figure’s face and tackles him to the floor, screaming the rest of the song and wrapping up their set.
After a short break the headliner and act everyone has been waiting for The Black Queen takes to the stage one by one. Behind the band is a giant projection of their logo, flashing lights, and other imagery adding to the atmosphere. After the applaud and cheering from the crowd subsides, the band breaks out into a pounding drum beat and begins playing their song “Thrown into the Dark.” Almost simultaneously as The Black Queen breaks out into song the crowd breaks into dance, throwing arms into the air and swaying their bodies to the music. Interacting with the crowd, frontman, Greg Puciato sings in peoples faces, proceeds to grab and shake the audience member hands who are reaching out to touch him. Meanwhile on the right side of the stage guitarist Steven Alexander is entranced by his guitar hair in face, completely zoned out from the crowd. By the time they left the stage The Black Queen’s mix of new wave and dance music left the audience in awe and craving for more.
The Black Queen at the Regent did not disappoint by far. Comprised of a line up that anyone can find something to enjoy, from the dreamy, swaying songs of SRSQ, the gritty, and gruff sounds of Uniform and finally tying both opening bands together The Black Queen bringing their mix of new wave, dance music and R&B. One thing I can be sure is that everyone walked out of The Regent that night craving for more.