The Dresden Dolls announced two shows at the Wilbur Theatre, one for each of their major label releases. The second night was dedicated completely to Yes, Virginia, released in early 2006.
The Dolls opened with back to back banging versions of Sex Changes and Backstabber. Playing the album in order, there wasn’t really that much surprise to be had tonight. Instead, the night became a kind of lovefest between singer and keyboardist Amanda Palmer and drummer/guitarist Brian Viglione and the audience. In addition to offering some backstory on how the album was made, the duo played off each other as if 2006 were merely yesterday.
The best of the night was a gorgeous rendition of Delilah with Georgia from Bitter Ruin adding some harmonious textures. There was also a extended, rousing version of Mandy Goes to Med School that pitched the audience into a frenzy. There was definitely a shift in the energy level, one that rocketed up and up and didn’t drop again until the house lights came up. Amanda Palmer did a short solo take on Me & the Mini Bar that somehow, even in its quiet aspirations, kept the momentum rolling into the end of the show. They closed with an encore that included Amanda Palmer racing through the mezzanine, and a run through of their iconic single Coin-Operated Boy. Their rendition of War Pigs (a Black Sabbath cover that’s been in their setlist before) was everything fans have come to know and love about the Dresden Dolls. It included an extended duel between Brian’s drums and Amanda’s keyboards, interplay that clearly displayed their affection for music, the fans and each other. It was an awesome, otherworldly display that – because the Dresden Dolls are shortchanged as an oddball indie act – not enough people have witnessed in the last ten years.
Though ostensibly the Dresden Dolls are no longer recording new music together (both have released other projects) here’s hoping they come together once in a while and remind us of just how great they are. They can play whatever they damn well feel like, and I would come back for more.
Dresden Dolls setlist
My Alcoholic Friends
Delilah (with Georgia Train)
Shores of California
Mandy Goes to Med School
Me & The Minibar