Friday, January 23, 2015

The Donkeys at The Chapel – A Concert Review

     Each year, January is the weakest month with respect to concert opportunities. There are a number of reasons – band members and concert-goers are experiencing some post-holiday burnout, no festival opportunities to motivate tours, fewer new releases to promote after the push to drop albums prior to Christmas… 
      Still, there are always some hidden gems. On January 21, a gem was uncovered at The Chapel in San Francisco. The Donkeys made the trip from San Diego and brought an entertaining evening with them. The high energy of the band carried into the crowd. There was unabashed singing, random fist-bumping, energetic dancing, flying women’s undergarments… [WAIT!  What was that last one? Yes, a turquoise bra was thrown in the direction of band member Tim DeNardo. Being in a rock band can be dangerous.]
     While other bloggers have no problem describing the band’s sound ("jangly guitar/harmonization California rock") or with identifying a compatible band (Pavement), we do. During their setlist, The Donkeys traveled from vocal-heavy ballets ("Blues in the Afternoon”) to instrumentals (“Lower the Heavens”). Guitarist Jessie Gulati used a slide during “”Blood Hound” and at least one other song. There wasn’t a sitar at this performance, but The Donkeys are known for using one.
Click to enlarge
     On a personal note, we want to praise The Chapel. Two of us had supper at the venue. The food was good, the beer was effective, and the employees were friendly and helpful.
     The four members of The Donkeys are Timothy DeNardo (bass and guitar), Jessie Gulati (guitar), Anthony Lukens (keyboard), and Sam Sprague (drums). The band’s setlist at The Chapel is shown in a caption of this post. It includes a stick figure with the thought bubble referencing “Francisco.” Huh? Of the songs that are visible (the leg of the micrphone stand covers "Scissor Me Cigs") , the setlist shows:
Excelsior Lady
Ceiling Tan
Nice Train
Oxblood (Tim vox)
Blues in the Afternoon
Ride in the Black Wave
I Like the Way You Walk
Blood Hound
Boot in the Seat
Born with Stripes
Come on Virginia
Try to Get By
Lower the Heavens
Lower the Heavens

“Don’t Know Who We Are” – It wasn’t part of the setlist, but it’s a personal favorite.

Photo Credit to Scott K.

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