Live & Local: The Offbeats Lights Out In The City CD release party at Pedicab (with video)

Though the venue was built for a capacity of 150, there were easily over 200 that flocked to the Pedicab on a humid but breezy Friday night to catch the Offbeats second CD release, Lights Out In The City. Judging from the turnout on April 1, I doubt the band's fans would have minded packing in if they played a show in a bathroom stall.

The set began with the pulsating drumbeat of album opener "Live From My Bedroom." Right off the bat, it was clear the band just wanted to rock the house rather than worry about that thing people call "stage presence." With the Offbeats, it's all about the music.

Take, for instance, "Cops ' Robbers," a danceable track with a catchy melody enhanced by Eric Romasanta's precise, clever bass line. The superb single sounded as great live as it does on the CD. The boys engulfed themselves in the rock and roll they created, harmoniously feeding off each other and oblivious to what was happening offstage. Colin Foster impressively sipped a beer while playing the drums without skipping a beat.

Throughout the night, the 'Beats led the audience through Lights Out and played a few tracks from their first, Standards. The group ended the night with the album's epic title track, which had everyone — including the band — dancing as the night wore on.





The light of the Offbeats has flickered over the years, but has inevitably managed to stay lit. After the departure of original drummer Mike Griffin, the band decided to change instruments instead of finding a new drummer, and the bet paid off — there is still a lot of power behind this band, and they still seem capable of pumping out new, relevant songs.

Strictly on musical terms, it was strong performance. But even as Romasanta hopped offstage to play in the crowd during "Battle of Flowers," it felt as if there were no connection between him and the audience. These guys aren't the greatest showmen — the gig had a cold, detached vibe to it — yet those seeking great music over "entertainment" got what they came for.

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