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Singers Faye Webster, Stella Donnelly perform at the Bishop Bar


Stella Donnelly performed March 28 at the Bishop Bar. Courtesy Photo

A sore throat and a weak back didn’t stop Faye Webster and Stella Donnelly from singing and dancing at their Thursday night performance at the Bishop Bar.

Webster, a singer-songwriter from Atlanta opened the show at 9:39 p.m. to around 140 audience members. The crowd had been inching closer to the stage since 9:30, the scheduled start time.

When she struck her first chords, the audience kept talking, but when she began to sing they all stopped.

“The right side of my neck still smells like you,” Webster sang.

After the song she yelled to the back of the room.

“Yo, is Ben still here?” Webster said. “Can you grab my red tote? I forgot my yo-yo.”

Webster later said her favorite character in Super Mario Smash Bros. is Ness, who wields a powerful yo-yo. Now, Webster brings one to every performance and sometimes even ships them directly to venues to ensure she has one for every on-stage appearance.

For this performance, since she was struggling with a sore throat, she decided to cut a few songs in favor of performing a few yo-yo tricks. She successfully completed the one-handed star with her Duncan Pro Z Yo-Yo and tried but never completed the classic cradle trick.

“My favorite part is the yo-yo tricks, and I would change my yo-yo tricks," Webster said. "I would make them better."

Webster sang four other songs, ending with “Room Temperature,” which was released March 6 as a part of her upcoming album. The album, “Atlanta Millionaires Club,” is set to release May 24.

Donnelly, a Welsh-Australian artist, followed Webster’s performance with a disclaimer that her back was not cooperating and she might have to perform sitting down.

Nevertheless, she was up following the first song and performed the remaining 11 on her feet, incorporating a few small dance moves into one of her final songs.

The second song Donnelly performed, “You Owe Me,” was met by dozens of members singing along.

Donnelly said she was shocked.

“No one’s ever sung along to that before,” she said.

Donnelly also sang “Boys Will Be Boys,” a tale of one of her friends who experienced sexual assault.

“Why was she all alone, wearing her shirt that low?” she sang. “They said, ‘Boys will be boys,’ deaf to the word 'no'.”

She prefaced the song with a disclaimer regarding the nature of the song and a few personal beliefs about sexual abuse.

“When this thing happened to my friend and she opened up to the people around her about what happened, they kind of questioned her,” Donnelly said. “That’s just not good enough. We need to stop questioning women and everyone on how they dress and how they act because no one’s really asking for it.”

Following her more serious songs, Donnelly invited her four other band members to join her on stage for more of her upbeat songs. These songs included “Lunch” and “Seasons Greetings,” a Christmas song she performs year-round.

Following one of her songs, Donnelly commented on the audience’s acceptance of her different artistic approach in certain songs.

“Bloomington gets it,” she said.

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