|Steve McDonald with OFF! in Seattle in November 2016. (Cat Rose photo)
A few songs into OFF!'s set, singer Keith Morris turned to bassist Steve McDonald and inquired: "I hope you've been pacing yourself tonight. How do you feel?"
The towering, floppy haired one sported a goofy look on his face, let go of his four-stringer for an instant and flashed a double thumbs up.
It was McDonald's third appearance on stage that night, Dec. 27 at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA.
And this was the most raucous one. First, he sludged through an hour's worth of Melvins' tunes, then popped through a Redd Kross batch of covers from the "Teen Babes from Monsanto" album (played in full and then some) and then it was time to go OFF!, punk-rock style.
McDonald was fired up from start to finish, stomping his lanky body around stage left, leaping and leaning toward the crowd while contorting his face and flicking his tongue along the way. It was as if he was a spunky 11-year-old kid all over again and plucking his bass for the first time. It was a blast to watch him roll through his hat trick, trifecta... #3waySteve as noted on the Redd Kross Facebook page.
At the end of Redd Kross' set, there were three McDonalds on stage: Steve, brother Jeff and Jeff's daughter, Astrid, who sang on a cover of The Eyes' "Don't Talk to Me," an early LA punk gem composed by Go-Go Charlotte Caffey, Jeff's wife and Astrid's mom. Astrid also performs the song with her group The Side Eyes, whose axeman Kevin Devine joined the crew on stage to supply some tasty guitar licks.
For each band, McDonald donned a different KISS-logoish T-shirt: BASS for the Melvins, STEVE for Redd Kross and PUNK ROCK for OFF! He wore silver shoes at the start and then finished with sneakers, and his feet were probably still tapping and rattling the ice cubes during a well-deserved foot soaking later.
And, believe it or not, he'll do it again tonight at Pappy & Harriet's in Pioneertown, CA.