Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I actually left my house and saw a show: Dresden Dolls

A few years ago I believe I misspoke, and as we strive for accuracy at the Signal Watch, I want to correct myself.  In 2009 I said:
Have been listening to "Who Killed Amanda Palmer?" which sort of begs the question of how necessary the other half of "Dresden Dolls" really is
I fully retract that statement and think its a good time to point out that the recordings and albums of Dresden Dolls don't do justice to Brian Viglione's actual skill, talent and showmanship.  Dude isn't just technically proficient, he's also just as much a part of the show as Palmer, which is saying something.

this is a rock show as seen by my crummy camera in my phone
I mostly no longer talk about music on this site as, seriously, its like arguing your favorite color.  But I did go see Dresden Dolls here in Austin on Sunday night.  For a two-person combo, they more than managed to knock my socks off and fill the stage.  They played 3 hours straight (after a really solid set by San Antonio's Girl in a Coma, who I will be making Jason go see)  and I guess I knew 70-80% of the material.  But if I had any doubts, their finale was a cover of Sabbath's War Pigs, which...

Well, it was weird.  I attended the show with a work colleague who mentioned the band Warpaint, and it was loud in there, and I thought she said "War Pigs", and so I had "War Pigs" on the brain, anyway...  and so when they actually played "War Pigs"...  it kind of melted my brain.  Apparently this is an old number from pre-hiatus, but I didn't know that.

And then I just downloaded the new album from Girl Talk (its free, btw), and what's the first track he uses?

Sabbath is haunting me at every move.

Palmer from someone else's much better camera

Dresden Dolls also covered Neutral Milk Hotel's "Two Headed Boy", "Pirate Jenny" from the actual Threepenny Opera and a few other tunes.

That's not to say they didn't play their own stuff.  And, apparently (according to the band themselves online today) Dresden Dolls played their longest set ever in Austin.  So, go figure.  I guess they just liked the crowd.

Palmer and Viglione are surely putting on a rock show, but, yeah, if you think you can pick up someone's love of showtunes off the recording, on stage, its just cranked up to 11.  In a way, even if you don't love their actual music, its a good show, and that's not something too many bands know how to do.

Viglione takes aim

What really surprised me was how they killed on some of their songs I like best, like "Delilah" (for which they brought out Nina, from Girl in a Coma), "The Jeep Song" (for which they brought 20 or so folks from the audience onto the stage), "Ultima Esperanza" and "Mandy Goes to Medschool".  I didn't expect them to NOT play them well, but I was just surprised that they seemed like showcase pieces in the set.  So...  there you go.

Anyway, a fun night.  And while I wasn't the oldest one at the show, it was definitely true that the audience was definitely a bit younger.  Kids.  Ah, well.


Paul Toohey said...

For what it's worth, my favourite colour is Green...

...I'm also somewhere in the middle of listening to nothing but In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. That album just seems to work perfectly right now.

cardboardbelts said...

Glad you enjoyed the show. I hadn't thought about the Dresden Dolls in a long time and am now revisiting their music. Thanks!