Paul Collins - vocals, rhythm guitar; Michael Ruiz - drums; Steven Huff - backing vocals, bass guitar; Larry Whitman - backing vocals, lead guitar
When they played this Berkeley, CA show in 1980, the Beat, whose name often got them confused with the more popular ska-inflected group from England, was at the peak of cranking out future power-pop classics. Although they never achieved widespread popularity, the band enjoyed local popularity in their native Los Angeles, and judging by the crowd noise, they were able to draw a significant crowd in Northern California as well. Frontman Paul Collins began the band following the break-up of the Nerves, whose famous EP featured his "Working Too Hard" alongside the famously Blondie-covered "Hanging on the Telephone" by Peter Case, later of the Plimsouls.
The energetic set features five songs from their self-titled 1979 album, which has since become a classic among power-pop enthusiasts. "Work-A-Day World" chugs through swaggering verses and a smooth chorus, while rave-up "Rock 'n' Roll Girl" is appropriately sent out to the oodles of rock 'n' roll girls present at the gig. "Don't Wait Up for Me," a tight, wistful pop tune, closes the main set before the two-song encore. Also included in the set are five songs on their then-upcoming record, which Collins claims in the intro to "Will You Listen" would be titled Will You Listen. In fact, the 1981 record would be titled The Kids Are the Same and was released under the name "Paul Collins' Beat," ultimately facing a sophomore slump in sales despite its overall quality.
The band broke up temporarily following The Kids, but Collins would revive the Beat with a different line-up for a mini-LP, 1983's To Beat or Not to Beat. With some MTV exposure for "Dance, Dance," they would tour through the late '80s, releasing One Night, their final studio album, in 1988. Following some solo activity by Collins during the '90s, he reunited the Beat with a Spanish line-up in 2006. Paul Collins' Beat continues to perform and record to the present day.