Sex and the City, The Actors Studio on Bravo, laundry. What to do on a Sunday night? How about spending the night with the Donnas at Brownies! NYC faces yet another cool venue dropping off into oblivion, joining other deceased venues of late: Coney Island High, Tramps and Wetlands. Brownies, as of early August, will no longer be a host to live music and will be tastefully dropping a pool table in place of this classic stage area and will become, I guess, just a bar. That's exciting since the bar tenders there always try incredibly hard to show off their enthusiasm.
I could not make the Village Voice "Sirens" festival this past Saturday at Coney Island, so when I heard the girls would be doing a special Sunday night gig for friends and fans, I had no problem dropping my Sunday night rituals.
Taking the stage at 10:45, the girls looked incredible and suntanned from the day before. They ripped into track one off last year's Turn 21 "Are You Gonna Move it For Me." They get tighter and tighter each time I see them. Donna A (aka Brett) on lead vocals is a pro as she swayed back and forth in her light blue shirt and fully delivered the goods. Donna C (aka Tori) on drums once again looked like a combo of Marky Ramone meets Animal from The Muppets. I thought she was going to smash a hole in the floor. Donna F on bass (aka Maya) looked great: she lost weight and was pounding those thundering bass lines all night and jumping around with the rest of the band; she also treated us with her usual tasteful jokes. Last, but by no means least, my favorite Donna R (aka Allison) gave it 1000% ! In her true ever-changing style, she now has long hair again with bangs. She was in her trademark jean skirt with pink converse and a sleeveless black, pink and blue blouse. She has matured tremendously in her stage presence and her ability to play. She usually rips those notes but stays a little bit to herself but last night was looking around at all of us and talking a little bit. She was ripping the insulation out of the walls with her custom Gibson !!!
The set thunderously moved along (the explosion at the Con Ed plant the day before apparently had no effect on these ladies.) We were even treated to new music! The third song of the set was a new one called "On The Rocks." This tune rocked to heaven and Donna F had a most memorable solo. Another new one we were treated to was called "Who Invited You" which is about the art of party crashing. Both these tunes will be featured on their new record entitled The Donnas Spend the Night due out in October on new label Atlantic Records.
The explosive set moved a long and seeing these brilliant newly-legal lip-glossed divas rock out on such a small stage was once again a pure NYC delight. The hits included "Checkin' It Out," "Midnite Snack," "Skintight," "Doin' Doughnuts" and one of my all time favorites which Donna A dedicated to all their groupies: "You Gotta Crush On Me."
The girls came back with a classic finale that only real fans would know, "Let's Go Mano" off their first album (which I own on LP, still sealed). This was a treat and had the joint jumpin'.
What a great evening in a great old NY venue, albeit soon to be deceased. Bottom line: last year these girls "Turned 21." This year they have musically matured into adulthood. Look for this new record in October!
Are You Gonna Move it For Me
Do You Wanna Hit It
On the Rocks
Checkin' It Out
Who Invited You
Take Me to the Back Seat
You Got A Crush On Me
I Didn't Like You Anyway
Take It Off
All Messed Up Over You
Let's Go Mano