Dresden Dolls - Orpheum 12/29/2007
[music | Combichrist - Get Your Body Beat (Sergio Mesa Remix)]
In the half dozen or so Dresden Dolls shows we've seen in the last few years, I've never been to a bad show. Often, Amanda's voice is fucked (like last night), once they opened for a band we didn't care about, but their shows are always excellent. Even as an "old timer", it's still easy to be impressed by the stage presence of just two people, and how much music comes out of those two instruments. I think that's because I count Brian as three people, and up to four instruments.
I've seen faster drummers, but no one can show me a more entertaining drummer. Drummers are usually second only to bassists in polls of "who is the most emotionless suckass on any stage". It's his treatment of the drums as an instrument capable of melody as much as his playfulness that makes him so important. That and he's really cute and hilarious to watch. I've never seen him go quite so far back during Coin Operated Boy. One day he's going to try that and discover he's 30, right there in the middle of the show. He'll say "Fuck, I'm 30", and just stay down. I know. And it's only 18 short months away. Get ready man.
I've also never seen Amanda get through an entire performance of Missed Me without cracking up at him at least once.
Her performance was nothing short of stunning. Her voice was as screwed as I've ever heard it from the get go, she couldn't even talk. I was worried we were going to have another Morrissey on our hands, but Amanda proved she could suck it up and not annoy everyone and have to reschedule.
The opening acts were super fun, as they always are with Dolls shows.
Meow Meow opened with a hilarious caberet act with much audience participation. She arrived late, with her luggage in tow, running through the crowd and getting assistance with her wardrobe from audience members. She even decided to go for "a little crowd surf" which was an utter fiasco with bumping and squealing all the way to the back of the orchestra section. I'd say she sounded like Nina Hagen from England. She has the same operatic quality, 10x the silly and all the personality. She could have used more than 15 or 20 minutes.
I went and smoked during the Lexington High School Drama Club, I had no idea they were coming out that fast and were gone by the time I made it back in. They came back with a funny "broken toy soldiers" skit during the Dolls set and it worked in perfectly.
The third opener was Luminescent Orchestrii. Their Sxip Shirey MC'd for the night, and they played a mix of Eastern Euro & French traditional with some klezmer tunes thrown in. Almost as fun as the very similar DeVotchka. I think it's really important that the Dolls have acts that really might broaden people's scope a little bit on their ticket. Since much of their audience is pretty young, and obviously willing to find new music, it's great that they give the audience something different to listen to.
Sxip went on stage for the Pissah Covah of the day with Brian on guitar and Amanda on drums for the traditional Jewish protest song "Fight For Your Right (to Party)". Absolutely hilarious, perfectly executed, and watching Amanda Palmer play drums really is like watching a wind-up toy. She seems to be concentrating so hard on not fucking up, but I've seen her do it a couple times and it's always all good.
Of course there's video:
(and holy crap that user has Rasputina videos from a couple weeks ago too, dammit)
Since I just posted on the Bosstones, I have to say that I hope the Dolls can maintain their strength and survive beyond the Angsty Teeny Goth novelty act to become as much an institutional Boston act. That is not a dig. I love that they're so popular and people can dress up and have a blast. Here's proof (from like a decade ago):
What I mean is, I still want to be going to Amanda and Brian in 15 years (even if it's not Dresden Dolls anymore), and I want them to still draw a crowd. I don't want them to be selling furniture at Bernie and Phylls.
The show ended with Luminescent Orchestrii back on stage with the Dolls for a cover of Sweet Dreams (which Wabals also has).