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8/28/05, Woodstock Playhouse,
Woodstock, NY

Setlist (courtesy donnabase.com)
Tomorrow Still Knows (cut short due to tech difficulties, no mics for vocals), Oh Ma (still no vocal mics, Jeb sung it unamplified), Way Back When, Blue Sky, Rocking Horse, Family Picture Tomorrow Still Knows (with vocals this time), I Don't Need A Riddle, Hey Trudy, Broken Record, It's Just Me, Love and Gasoline, New Jeb, No Place Like The Right Time, Conscious Evolution
Encore: Rock of Ages

Photos of this show

By Jeff Bauer

I pulled into the lot of the Woodstock Playhouse a little after 2 p.m. and was pleasantly surprised to find a little tailgate action, something I hadn't quite seen at a Donna show before. It had rained on and off during the trip up from NJ but now it was dry and even though the Playhouse had a roof over the stage and the audience, I was hoping it would stay dry.

I had brought my friend Curtis to see his first Donna show and was hoping for a memorable peformance. We found out there would be an opening act, a local band whose name I never did catch, so we headed in soon after the gates opened. About midway throught their set we headed back out into the lot for more socializing and then back into the Playhouse shortly before Donna came on a bit after 4 p.m.

The crowd was relatively small, a few hundred people tops, and many of them chose to sit in the bleachers, which left plenty of room up front for dancing. The band started with Tomorrow Still Knows, but only a few seconds into it they discovered the vocal mics weren't working. They continued to play for a few minutes, then realized the problem wasn't going to be immediately fixed and stopped playing altogether. This wasn't exactly the fabulous introduction to Donna the Buffalo I was hoping Curtis would experience, but it was a stereotypical Donna the Buffalo moment ;>

After a few minutes of standing around, they decided to play a song with only a few lyrics, and launched into Oh Ma. Hearing Jeb valiantly sing this song without amplification is something we all should experience at least once, but unfortunately, I don't recall seeing any audio tapers, and only one video taper.

Finally the technical difficulties were sorted out, the band went into Way Back When, and everything was back to normal. Blue Sky was next and it was a solid, if unremarkable, version.

I love Rocking Horse and so was pleased with that as the band's next choice, though it did seem to upend the momentum they'd built with the previous two songs. The Family Picture set the party ship back on course, and although I'm still missing the way the band played this tune with Jim Miller on guitar, the new arrangement is starting to grow on me. Tommorw Still Knows was next, and sounded much better with vocals than without.

After that, I mentioned to Curtis that it was just about time for Tara to pick up her accordion, and sure enough, she did. I would have preferred a Tides of Time, but instead we heard another version of I Don't Need A Riddle, and this one never did seem to click. Whenever I grow tired of hearing DtB peform certain songs, I ask myself, "Who told you to go see so many shows anyway?" I've been enjoying the band's new take on Hey Trudy all year, but the version of this song that they played after I Don't Need A Riddle never seemed to hit a peak.

The highlight of the show for me came next, when the band played one of the two new Tara Nevins songs. This one is called either Bad Memories or Broken Record, depending on who you ask. Just don't ask Tara--a buddy of mine did just that as soon as they finished playing it, and Tara shrugged her shoulders and said "I don't know yet." Donnabase.com has taken to calling it Broken Record. Whatever it's called, it's a great song, an untempo rock tune that definitely hit the spot. Some fans have cited the song's lyrics as being overly negative, but I think maybe they're reading something into it that just isn't there. Only Tara knows for sure.

Next came some old-school Donna: It's Just Me, which the band has played only three times so far this year, and not since March. I stood by the rail and swayed for this one, trying to remember the name of the song. Call it a treat for the Herd. Then it was back to Tara for Love and Gasoline, and if you don't dig seeing her sing this song, there really isn't much I can do to help you.

When the band started the next song, I thought it was the intro to Every Day, but instead it was one of the two new Jeb songs. I don't recall much about it, and suspect it's still got a ways to go. Tara sang No Place next, which was followed by a hard-driving Conscious Evolution during which Jeb found his Zone to end the set. After a brief break, it was back out for a Rock of Ages encore, with which Tara the rest of the band set us off gently into the early evening.

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