March 16, 2005
"Are you ready to rock?"
Yeah, I guess. Vocalist Brett Anderson's invocation to party was unconvincing and less than enthusiastic. But, once The Donnas got into their short seven song set at Stubb's for SXSW Wednesday night, their sincere desire to blow out speakers was evident. The Donnas were guitarist Allison Robertson, bassist Maya Ford, and drummer Torry Castellano.
The eleven year-old band from Palo Alto, CA, played fun and sexual hard rock songs with a snarl. They had a brash attitude that suggested catfights.
With a mixture of metal and radio-friendly melodies, they reminded me of The Darkness, except The Donnas took their cock rock seriously. AC/DC seriously. Which still doesn't even scratch the seriousness of an '80's indie rock band(Black Flag, R.E.M.).
The band was road-tested tight, and their MVP was Robertson, whose riffs and solos were head-bangingly righteous. Which I know, because she was headbanging. The whole band was bouncing around the stage, and their energetic background vocals prompted fist-pumping.
The best songs were "Fall Behind Me," "Who Invited You," and "Take It Off," which was a solid rock anthem. They coulda just played "Take It Off" over and over again and I don't think anyone would have minded.
Too bad the crowd wasn't paying attention. They weren't into The Donnas at all. They were probably waiting for Billy Idol to hit the stage. Despite the reaction the band played very hard.