Retro Cowgirl takes over the Starlighter

The band Retro Cowgirl gives their insight into the band’s residency during the month of October at the Starlighter


Provided from Retro Cowgirls Instagram

Retro Cowgirl’s official residency announcement poster. From left to right: Sophie Connolly, Jonluca Biagini, Lucky Steele, Luis Fiallos, and Luis Garcia.

Every Thursday night during October, Trinity sophomore Sophie Connolly is rocking out at the Starlighter. She is part of a San Antonio band called Retro Cowgirl, and for the month of October, they are performing as part of a residency at the Starlighter — an intimate live music venue located about ten minutes east of Trinity.

Two of the band members are from Trinity, including Connolly and senior Jonluca Biagini. Connolly, a neuroscience major, joined after Biagini found out she played bass for Trinity’s musical “Company” last year. She shared her thoughts about how her bandmates accommodate her school schedule.

“It’s been hard balancing both of them. But usually, we plan out in advance what our practices are and when our gigs are, so I work my Trinity schedule around work and everything, so it’s doable. They’re super flexible with everything,” Connolly said.

Although the band named their main venue, Paper Tiger, as their favorite, they also mentioned the Starlighter. Lucky Steele and Luis Fiallos, the band’s founding members, explained that the residency came about because of their close connection with the owners. The band said playing here has felt natural, even without their drummer, Biagini, who is studying abroad this semester.

“The residency started maybe a couple of months ago, like the idea. So we want to make sure that we keep the momentum when [Biagini is] gone. And, again, we’re friends with Jacob and Jason, the owners, and we proposed the idea and it just developed after that,” Fiallos said.

What sets this residency apart are the weekly themes and encouraged costumes. The first Thursday had a space cowgirl theme, and the second show had a Quentin Tarantino theme. The band has been committing fully to these, making props and dressing accordingly. They even held a costume contest at each show.

“I’m a huge fan of costume parties. And I feel like it just makes it more of an experience. It’s already fun to go out with your friends, but might as well make it more fun,” Steele said.

Retro Cowgirl has been posting many behind-the-scenes videos to various platforms including Instagram (@retrocowgirlband) and TikTok (@retrocowgirlband). This has given Retro Cowgirl’s fans absolute transparency and a sense of fun.

Sage Shirley, a sophomore prospective political science and psychology double-major, recently attended the first show of their residency. Shirley regularly interacts with Retro Cowgirl on Instagram and loves the concept of a weekly theme.

“I think it’s fun that they’re theming it differently every week. I think that’s really smart,” Shirley said.

Retro Cowgirl’s enthusiasm for their October residency (or Retroctober as some fans call it) is shared among their fans, especially Trinity students. Meadow Netardus, senior English major, shared her opinion on the nickname Retroctober.

“Maybe a bit of a stretch but still pretty fun and festive,” Netardus said.

Netardus also shared Shirley’s excitement about the themes for each show of the residency.

“That’s so fun. I love that,” Netardus said.

This unique way of promoting their residency also shows up in the promotion of their YouTube (Retro Cowgirl) videos. They love dorky costumes and themes that allow their fans to be a part of the process and plan to release more music videos soon.

“The goal is to start expanding. I think we have shown our faces, we’re becoming [an] established band in San Antonio, at least in the local scene and at a couple of universities, especially Trinity. The goal is to start moving outside of San Antonio and expand, getting to meet other bands and just learn from them and see how it goes,” Fiallos said.