The Donnas blew through Cleveland Friday night on what seemed like a whim. Now on tour with Pat Benatar and Blondie, the Donnas made an unsupported pit-stop at Peabody's. With a temporary replacement drummer and a new CD (Greatest Hits: Volume 16) to promote, the Donnas clearly came to rock.
Their set started out with air-raid sirens leading into the first song, “Bitchin’,” which gave the band a chance to jam. Playing a heavy intro with their long hair flying, the Donnas treated the audience to some-old school Ramones-flavored rock — with an added inspired allegiance to Kiss and Motley Crue.
Over the years, the Donnas (who started when they were in their teens) have moved beyond songs about kissing in the backseat. Their past couple albums mark a turn away from schoolyard stuff, and their set Friday night reflected this, with plenty of favorites, including “Make You Want Me”, “Smoke You Out” and “Who Invited You.”
And they've never sounded better. Their sound is harder, louder and much more assured these days. Frontwoman Brett Anderson sauntered the stage like a caged tiger. But guitarist Allison Robertson, with Cousin It hair and GNR-inspired fretwork, was the true heart of the Donnas. —Jara Anton