Among the better points to note with The Donnas is the growth of Allison as a guitar player. I’ve got all the CDs and to be quite honest, I can no longer listen to the early stuff despite a few catchy tunes in the mix. I just cannot fathom that its the same guitar player based on her latest work. She adds a few things live that I didn’t hear on any recording, so its nice to see that she’s really going forward as a musician. Performance-wise, she has a pseudo-Joe Perry thing going in her performance style. As much as it works for her, and as little as I can complain (she does, after all, play guitar with more balls then most guys out on tour today), I’d love to see if she could ditch the Les Paul guitar for a sleeker design and stretch her legs as a performer some. Still, I can’t even think of complaining, and seeing ANY guitar player go out there with a Gibson and a dual short stack of Marshall Amps is always refreshing. I’m hoping if they do bigger venues, she’ll whip out the old 80s standby of 4 full dual stacks of Marshall amps. Hell, I’d pay to see any performer do that today. Its just the way a guitar was meant to sound.
I wish I could comment a little more on Brett (singer) and Maya (bass) but I had my hands full with the mosh pit and lifting some young things into a crowd surf. It was all I could do to get out of there alive. Seeing one particular patron in attendance: a tall blonde female in *maybe* her early twenties … very attractive, cute as hell, but she darted into the mosh pit with such reckless abandon that I half expected her to come out bruised and battered. She kept it up all night, and I have to admit, I’m damned impressed. I’m sure I proposed marriage to her, but who could hear such musings when The Donnas had it cranked up loud.
The stage diving was a bit much for a plain ol party rock band like The Donnas. I’m sure that’s a carryover from the days when they were considered punk, but once it gets going, its impossible to stop. It took about 10 minutes into the show when a trio of teenyboppers next to me asked for a hand to lift one of theirs into the air. Brett even announced for all that they were not a ska band and even flipped off one guy who got a little too carried away and a little too close to either her or Maya. They also had to bring out a little hired muscle to help keep center stage clear. It made for a better show, IMO.