“So much happens that makes me want to scream. Our fucked-up collective pain leaves us nowhere safe to do this. So we created a place to scream."

That's certainly one way to frame frustration.

These were the words of Mannequin Pussy's Marisa Dabice as she introduced the searing, scorched-earth tune, "F.U.C.A.W.," during their opening set Saturday night at the Regency.

If you haven't caught on, Mannequin Pussy doesn't exactly do things lightly. Their set was blistering, with Dabice's shredding guitars and screams throughout. It seemed an odd placement to be opening for the happy-go-lucky stoner dreams of Best Coast, but beneath the tough sonics, the band's tenderness bled through the guitars. As the band played through their recent record, Patience, it was clear through Dabice's often soothing melodies that her music is looking for connection, not isolation. This was strengthened by Dabice's individual connections to her fans (including a conversation with a little girl that I noticed by the merch booth). Sometimes, our grief and worldly grievances just needs something sharper.

This sense of necessary connection could also be said for the true stars of the night, Best Coast. Having just released their fourth record, Always Tomorrow, Bethany Cosentino and company were all business, more than earning their stripes over the years. It's hard to believe this band has been around for a decade, but their showmanship and love affair with California was on full display, something this San Francisco crowd very eagerly adored. Donned in a suit, Cosentino introduced several of her slow jams as "romantic comedy," a testament to the band's stoner-chic perception of the world.

After getting sober in 2017, Cosentino's bright demeanor on the stage and in the new songs certainly set the tone that the band is moving in a positive new direction and isn't solely looking for the nostalgia to settle in. After all, isn't a sunny disposition what we're all trying to achieve, whether we're in Los Angeles or not? At the Regency, Costentino and her band made an emphatic case for breaking through the haze.

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