Welcome to the Dollhouse: The Dresden Dolls
Jordan McMahan
11/16/2004 6:34:53 PM

After their inception in Boston in the year 2000, the Dresden Dolls quickly built up a cult following and consistently destroyed local venues. Since the release of their debut album in 2003, they have been doing the same across the entire nation, their visit to St. Louis' Mississippi Nights on November 6th being no exception.

Waiting in the line outside one could already see the influence of this duo on their fans. Several female fans could be found wearing frilly dresses right out of the 1920's, and male and female alike had their faces painted white and lips black or dark red, as the band themselves do. With these devout followers aside, a wide range of other fans were also noticed in the crowd. All scenes were represented--from the indie and "punk" crowds, to folks you would expect to find at an industrial show or metalfest-- but never at a punk or indie show. The Dolls have, indeed, sucked everyone in.

That being said, the Dresden Dolls are neither punk, indie, metal nor industrial. They are not well defined by today’s standards of rock music. The closest living musical relative to the Dresden Dolls may well be Fiona Apple; but only for the fact that she, too, is an angry, piano-playing diva. I digress...on to the show.

The Dolls took the stage after rushing down the main walk of Mississippi Nights through a mass of unknowing fans. When they were noticed ascending the stage stairs, however, the building erupted (--side note: this is by far the loudest crowd I have ever heard at Mississippi Nights). The duo began with “Good Day,” the first song off of their self-titled album [8 Ft. Records]. Pianist Amanda Palmer's booming vocals and keyboard pounding blended perfectly with drummer Brian Viglione's thundering, mechanical percussion. Throughout the song, “Coin-Operated Boy,” Viglione's motions we're completely robotic and his expressions disturbingly mime-like.

About halfway through the show, Palmer took a moment to explain their next song.

"We were going to stop playing this song after the election, but the right guy didn't win."

Any "wrong guy" supporters were completely engulfed in a sea of fists rising into the air as the entire venue roared in support of the "right guy".

This writer would like to stay out of politics.

After finishing their set with the maniacally energetic “Girl Anachronism,” the Dolls pair bowed off stage, only to return and encore with the almost-nine-minute “Truce.” Hopefully, attendees to this show left with a new appreciation for hard-rock piano... and mimes.


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