Heavy Handed

Here's a cool idea to ring in the baby new year: Find a reborn band playing at a reborn bar and make the most of a brand new thing. You'll find that freshly minted vibe at the Beach Bar, that corner spot on A1A and Sunrise that recently reopened under new management — and in the Heavy Pets, a good-vibes, free-style rock band recently relocated from upstate New York. Over the past couple of months, the Pets have drawn huge crowds to their weekly gigs at Fort Lauderdale's Fat Cats; their first show at Beach Bar a few weeks back was a balls-out, funk-fueled bonanza. Sweet harmonies, warm-hearted songwriting, and an infectious energy mark these guys as ones to watch on the local scene. They might be babies now, but we guarantee their senior status at Rock 'n' Roll High School by mid-2006.

The Heavy Pets play at 10 p.m. Saturday, December 31, at the Beach Bar, 900 Sunrise Ln., Fort Lauderdale. This free show features a midnight balloon drop. VIP tickets cost $25 and include a buffet dinner and a bottle of champagne. Call 954-563-8559.

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Jonathan Zwickel