Detroit bands have a reputation for taking the rock style of their day and giving it a big rhythm & blues dance beat. Last night at the Bayou, the Romatics took New Wave and gave it a dance beat that just wouldn't quit. The young Detroit quartet also showed a flair for catchy melodies that made their music all the more contagious.

Dressed in matching black shirts, pink scarves and purple leather pants, they thrashed around the stage, caught up in the excitement of their own music. They played stripped-down rock 'n' roll on two guitars, bass and drums. Lead singer Wally Palmer cried out, " When I look in your eyes . . . ," and Mike Skill's agitated guitary implied the reaction. The big beat captured that special moment and carried it on and on.

Richmond's Single Bullet Theory opened the show with their pumped-up power pop. They gave the Beatles' sound a new wave as well as that of the Cars or the Attractions. Unfortunately, the Virginia quintet doesn't yet have the strong personality that could galvanize the attractive music into memorable songs.

The show started 75 minutes late, and there was a 45-minute break between acts.