The Donnas played at SDSU's Back Door on June 26. Tickets cost $1395 a person (and included a week-long camp for kids 12--17). Bryan Joseph, founder and executive director of Power Chord Academy, said, "I had this business plan in college while studying entrepreneurship. There are a lot of kids playing in bands but no real guidance or information on how to get started. I thought it would be fun and could make a big difference in the kids' lives."
Joseph started PCA in San Diego, when he was living in North Park. Camps now take place in Chicago and New York.
On June 26, the Donnas played a 45-minute set that included a brief blackout. Singer Brett Anderson said, "Is this a test for us? We've played in the dark before." She told the kids at one point, "This isn't school. You can get loud and have fun." A small mosh pit then got going.
I had asked Anderson before the concert if she would tell the kids that 99 percent of them probably won't be able to make it in a band the way the Donnas did. She seemed shocked and said, "No! These are kids, and if they have dreams, that's great. If they think they can make it, they should follow their dreams. Why crush that? If they get older and have to decide whether to drop out of college to tour with a band that is struggling, they can make that decision then."
Another local Power Chord Academy session begins on July 17. See www.powerchordacademy.com.