Like the Go-Go's earlier this month, the Waitresses continued New Wave's assault on male dominance in rock 'n' roll with a spectacular show at the 9:30 club last night. Though this Ohio sextet contains four men, the lyrics delivered by Patty Donahue describe sexual relationships from an unmistakably female perspective. Unlike other New Wave women, Donahue presented her views with a broad humor that prevented hardened positions. Unlike most New Wave bands, the music was as imaginative as the concept. The band's other woman, Tracy Wormworth, dropped diving bass lines into the herky-jerky jazz-funk that captured the turbulence beneath Donahue's taunts. Guitarist Chris Butler (the band's songwriter) and multi-saxophonist Mars Williams churned up a threatening cacophony without losing the pop melodies that made "I Know What Boys Like" so hummable.
The Dynettes opened the show with floppy but spirited re-creations of hits by the early 1960s "girl groups" like the Ronettes, Crystals and Shangri-Las. The three female vocalists and the instrumental trio came from local bands like Tru Fax & the Insaniax, Switchblade and the H-Bombs. Lead singer Martha Hull dominated the set, though, with her sure sense of harmony, pitch and adolescent angst.