By Ohad Amram
This Thursday’s by-weekly Coffeehouse Concerts, in the Netherlands complex at 8 p.m., featured Long Island natives, mainstream alternative rock four-piece Blind Robbery alongside Hofstra’s Dominic Spezialetti. The show brought a good number of people in attendance as they gathered around enjoying the free food and live music sponsored by Hofstra Concerts.
The first act of the night was Blind Robbery. Eager to perform, and at a University no less, the group continuously hinted at their free demos at the front of the audience and constantly reminded those in the crowd to “like” them on Facebook and spread the word. Truth be told, however, there wasn’t much to like. In fact, upon first hearing the first few songs, the crowd began glancing around and making snarky jokes. The band sounded like bands Nickelback and Creed, with their heavy guitar riffs, same constant drumming with little to no variation from song to song. The group’s singer, after finishing certain songs, sometimes stopped to cheer the crowd on and thank everyone for attending. However, his voice had already started to sound hoarse.
Blind Robbery is a Long Island based band that has been around and active since 2002. In the past decade, their dedication and drive have the resulted in two full-length albums, “Ante Up” of 2005 and “Crooked Numbers,” which was released in December of 2009. The band has played on various college stations including Stony Brook and St. Johns University, aside from their show here at Hofstra University.
The second act of the evening, third-year student and third-time performer at the Coffeehouse, Dominic Spezialetti, is no stranger to performing in front of crowds, or without a backing band. Dominic enthusiastically stated, “The coffeehouse is a chill place to go on a Thursday evening. It’s nice just to sit, relax, listen to some live music and enjoy a nice cup of coffee.” Needless to say, Spezialetti was able to calm the crowd down with more comforting tones displayed in his five song set. Such songs included hits “Sigh No More,” by Mumford & Sons and an acoustic version of Rihanna’s “We Found Love.” Throughout the performance many chimed in with a few words here and there of the songs that they knew. Spezialetti delivered all of his songs soulfully and with his audience in mind.
Having been his third performance through Hofstra Concerts, Spezialetti found himself encouraged and supported by fellow friends as they sat through his entire act. Aside of his performances at the coffeehouse, Spezialetti fulfills his passion for singing with co-ed a cappella group “Hofbeats,” which was started when Spezialetti began at Hofstra as a freshmen. Another endeavor Spezialetti prides himself on is the fact that he helped create “The Dutchmen,” Hofstra’s only all-male a cappella group. As the coffeehouse drew to a close, Spezialetti happily remarked, “I’ve always loved singing and performing.”