THE DONNAS with BRATMOBILE and Mooney SUZUKI at the Reverb, March 15. Tickets: $12.50. Attendance: 800 (sold out). Rating: NN
the level of anticipation for the Donnas seemed to increase with every ironic cheerleader move that riot girl relics Bratmobile annoyingly used to accentuate their dire variations on the shitty-partner theme."You know when your boyfriend steals your shit and you don't know about it until he puts it in one of his songs?" shouted singer Alison Wolfe between high kicks. Well, no, actually.
After an hour of the Toni Basil routine set to an inept B-52s-derived chug, the Donnas came out sounding like genuine musicians. In fact, they got through three songs before it sank in that their new compositions are every bit as hollow as they seemed to be on their new Turn 21 album.
Bashingly brilliant as hair-flailing drummer Donna C. surely was, the dumb rhymes didn't seem any cuter or cleverer with Donna A.'s self-conscious presentation.
The way she delivered cliched stage banter like "We were in (blank) last night and they rocked more than you here in (blank)" was so forced, it sounded as if Donna A. were auditioning for the role of a rock chick fronting a band rather than just doing it.
The whole performance came off like they were working from a script, one that unfortunately didn't call for any changes in rhythm, tempo or mood. Said changes are definitely something the Donnas should consider exploring on future albums.