Some things just get better with age. A fine wine or a good scotch, for example. Other things become classics over time like a great film or a car. Then there are The Donnas who just get better and better and better and better regardless. Last night at Rothko in New York City, Atlantic Records put together a performance for those at the label who had not seen them. (Who are these people?)
For us fans that got invited, it was a treat to get a chance to see the band in an intimate venue and hear the new material. As usual, the PA was blasting tunes of such classic bands and Donna influences as AC/DC, KISS and then finally, their trademark entrance song, Cinderella’s “Bad Seamstress Blues Fallin’ Apart At the Seams.”
The stage had a huge backdrop of the latest album artwork, a psychedelic band portrait with the girl’s faces close together. It immediately brought back memories of Aerosmith’s Draw the Line (1978) and The Ramones End of the Century (1980).
The band came out strong with “It’s on the Rocks” from Spend the Night. They only played two other songs from that record. All the rest were new songs. They look and sound better than ever.
The single, "Fall Behind Me", sounded great live. Other new songs that were incredible are "I Don’t Want to Know If You Don’t" and "Don’t Break Me Down". Some of these tunes had a softer tone which was gorgeous. "Take It Off" and "Who Invited You" killed as usual.
Tori (Donna C) was, as usual, making more noise than humanly possible on those drums with her frail frame. Brett (Donna A) looked trim and sounding fabulous on lead vocals, always smiling and giving the crowd tremendous energy. Alison (Donna R), with a great new hair cut, continues to shine and really brings this band to another level on lead guitar. Her musicianship has gotten tremendous. The skills that she expresses on these new songs really put her in league with the big boys (not that she wants that). Maya (Donna F) on bass also seems to have gotten noticeably better with her instrument. The band’s energy was thru the roof as they all jumped around together and even added some new synchronized moves a la KISS, 1978. They were tight. One other observation, they all had the coolest belts on. This is so key.
The band went on around 10:15 and played eight songs in about forty minutes. I so badly needed my Donnas fix and seeing them in a venue like this where I could reach up and grab Donna R’s classic Gibson will last me for the rest of the year.
The new album, Gold Medal, will be in stores October 26th. For those left out there that don’t believe, this band is for real.
Photos By Drew Goldberg