Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Donnas: March 23, 2001

This was my second Donnas show, the first being in Detroit in 1999. On the second date, the female foursome was supporting the accurately titled The Donnas Turn 21. Indeed, they'd begun playing together as middle schoolers and at last were hitting the age at which some of the things they sing about are legal. Bratmobile, an original riot grrl band of the early '90s that had recently reunited and released a new album, opened the show. They were fun, enthusiastic, and aptly enough, kind of bratty.

Despite playing a simple brand of straight-up rock influenced by punk and metal, the Donnas were pretty adept musicians by this point. They played several songs from the current album, including "40 Boys in 40 Nights," which, they explained in their introduction, is about exactly what you'd expect -- a typical rock 'n' roll tale of on-the-road debauchery, only with the usual genders reversed.

Bassist Maya Ford, a.k.a. Donna F., interacted most with the audience. Her non sequiturs, screeched in a fashion reminiscent of Vince Neil or maybe Spinal Tap, were charmingly hilarious. "I had some Krispy Kreme doughnuts this morning!" she yelled at one point. "Does anyone out there like Krispy Kreme? Let me hear you if you like doughnuts!" It was (pardon the pun) kind of sweet.

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