Stella Donnelly Kicks Off US Tour at U Street Music Hall

Stella Donnelly performs at U Street Music Hall

Stella Donnelly has a natural charisma that allows her to captivate and enchant her audience for any extended period of time. Kicking off her tour at U Street Music Hall, Donnelly played an extensive setlist that heavily favored her latest release — debut LP Beware The Dogs.

The too-short evening started off intimately, with a solo Donnelly centering herself on-stage, brandishing her electric guitar. Before each song, Donnelly told an accompanying anecdote, which further deepened the sense of intimacy among the crowd. “Mosquito” and “Allergies” — a love song and breakup song respectively — played back to back. The pair worked well together, with Donnelly qualifying the former as her only love song, which made “Allergies” even more bittersweet. “Don’t pity me,” she quickly said, “My friend was waiting for me with fried chicken and chocolate,” which may be the best antidote for a broken heart.   

Donnelly is bold, belting lyrics that are intended to confront and raise awareness. If you’re not listening closely, it’s easy to miss wry digs like, “Your personality traits don’t count if you put your dick in someone’s face” under the guise of her upbeat and breezy melodies.

“Boys Will Be Boys”, the song that helped propel her to stardom, came with an introduction peppered with a call for action. The song, released in 2017 at the height of the #MeToo movement, recalls her friend’s account of sexual assault. Donnelly got visibly worked up as she exclaimed her frustration at the lack of accountability and recurrence of victim shaming. “It’s frustrating to still be having this conversation,” she said, before launching into the beautiful, yet heartbreaking tale. Her vocals, even more crisp live, enunciated every word, making it impossible not to feel the impact of the lyrics.

About halfway through the set, Donnelly invited her band out onstage to join her. The tempo, energy, and edginess steadily increased from there, with faster paced songs like “Tricks” and “Die”, which were both accompanied by synchronized and quirky dance moves, including the self-titled “crab-walk.” Creativity and passion oozed from every pore of her being —Donnelly explained that "any bit of yelling is [her] brain”, with those harmonies adding an extra edge and spunk to the music.

Donnelly was genuine, humble, and supremely grateful for the supportive and eager DC crowd, saying, “Last time I played in DC there were only 20 of you here. So if you’re here, thank you!” With her mid-song giggles and a massive smile plastered on her face for the entirety of the night, it was apparent she was having as much fun performing as the crowd was listening.

Although her set barely surpassed an hour, Donnelly made sure to stick around after the show to meet and take photos with everyone who queued up. Donnelly was the perfect ray of sunshine to kick off the weekend. Her contagious energy and uniquely fresh vocals predict that she’ll be selling out larger venues soon enough.

Setlist

Setlist

Setlist


Click here to see the setlist for Stella Donnelly's performance at U Street Music Hall on Friday, March 15, 2019.

Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery


Enjoy photos by our contributor Abbie Ginis.

Associated Albums

Associated Albums

Associated Albums


Additional Resources

Additional Resources

Additional

Resources


To find out more about Stella Donnelly please refer to the following resources:

About the author
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Abbie Ginis

Abbie Ginis has been a music junkie for as long as she can remember. Hailing from Michigan (Go Blue!), she is eager to continue to explore and be immersed in the DMV music scene. When she's not at concerts, Abbie can be found at the movies or longingly ogling at puppies.


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