The Bad Off(Pt. 2)

The Circle Bar

June 10, 2005

The Bad Off's set of original material battled between AC/DC minimalism and Led Zeppelin drama. Primal, gritty power chords versus soaring vocals full of mysticism. Solid, driving rock beats versus Page-like flurries of guitar notes. The good dumb versus the vacuous intelligent. The local rock band mixed fun with danger at The Circle Bar Friday night.

Their name stems from the concept of going to a concert to get your "bad off." So, they have a journeyman's lust for life. At the same time, they emit a tough guy image that says, "Rough and tumble, I'm a bad mutha. I'm standing my ground, and I'm telling you what it is. I'm here to do a job, so get out of my way."

Vocalist Erik Corriveaux set a new standard for performing. He went all out like he had something to prove. He dropped to his knees, screamed at the top of his lungs, and threw his body around like he was asking for it. That was the danger. He had a small amount of performing space in the living room area, so when he wanted to spread out, he ended up running into the audience extending six feet from the bar. This wasn't an accident, though. He got in the front row's face a few times. But, not in a menacing way. More like in a "let's get this on" way. The mixture of music and Corriveaux was intense, so I was surprised more people didn't try to mix it up with him. One girl was gyrating crazy all by her lonesome, and I salute her.

Once the band kicked into their second set of Led Zeppelin covers, the crowd formed a close semicircle around Corriveaux, who stuck to his mic stand. With the people so close to him, Corriveaux smiled like he was having the time of his life. It was a set-long sing-along. The place was packed, and things got out of hand in a good way. Love for Led Zeppelin flowed and flowed.

The band was just as impressive last night as they were during their Zeppelin set at The Mermaid Lounge last Halloween. They didn't wear costumes this time, but the band didn't need them. They re-created the songs with an eye for detail, but at the same time, they switched up a beat here or there. The resulting air of the uexpected kept things interesting.

The bar overfloweth like a good party. It was the place to be a for a new and old rock fix.

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