June 16, 2007 The Dresden Dolls Bank of America Pavilion Boston, MA
The Dresden Dolls are the kind of band that cannot be described by mere words, but I’ll try anyway. One half Amanda Palmer and one half Brian Viglione, they are self-described as a punk cabaret. It’s a fitting, however limited, description. They came on stage calmly. Amanda was outfitted in fishnet stockings and a corset and Brian in a white nightgown, with his face painted mime white, pajama-bottoms with his underwear on the outside.
This was a hits show of sorts. They knew that the audience would be largely unfamiliar and pulled out some of their best known songs including Shores of California and Coin-Operated Boy. Amanda does the singing, pounding on her keyboards while Brian accompanies on drums, and once, guitar. He’s silent, but makes theatrical facial expressions throughout. This might not sound like a recipe for a concert, but trust me, they were both equally arresting on stage. At one point, with a beer in her hand, Amanda sings with the gusto of a drinking song (it was a drinking song) as the beer boils and bubbles over the lip of the bottle, sending foam and beer spraying the stage and running down her hand. Brian, who stripped off the nightgown after the first song and played shirtless through the end of the set, was never boring to watch. He effortlessly managed to play, act and command his share of the attention.
They closed the set with an audience vote between War Pigs (yes, that War Pigs) and Girl Anachronism from their self-titled album. To our credit, the vote was overwhelmingly in favor of the Dolls’ own song.