Dresden Dolls | 11.16.10

It was very refreshing to see a performance given by a group whose sole objective was to have fun and reconnect with their fans.

The Pageant, St. Louis
Though operating on a significantly lower budget since their departure from Roadrunner Records, Dresden Dolls duo Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione still managed to give a delightfully raucous performance last week at the Pageant. The Dresden Dolls have recently given their loyal fans the musical gift of embarking on a reunion tour, and St. Louis was lucky to be one of the stops.
This was my first Dolls show, but I’ve been a fan of theirs for quite a few years. I had heard from numerous concertgoers that they never disappoint live, and I was happily satisfied with an extremely entertaining show. The refined qualities usually seen by a band of this stature may have been a little lacking (likely due to the aforementioned split with their label), but I took the mistakes and unplanned stage banter as more of an endearing quality than a negative one. Each performer is undeniably talented in his/her own right, and it was very refreshing to see a performance given by a group whose sole objective was to have fun and reconnect with their fans.
The show’s informal nature lent itself well to fun additions such as a sing-along in which a number of fans (including St. Louis-native/notorious concertgoer Beatle Bob) were called up on stage, song requests and Palmer finishing the show from out amongst the audience. We also received a rare gem: a performance of the song “Pierre,” a Carole King cover that vocally features Viglione as a sneering boy named Pierre.
A major element of the night was the handiwork of someone I have begun to consider the third member of the Dresden Dolls, their lighting director. While there is no dispute that the Dolls are phenomenal performers, the energy of the show can largely be attributed to the visual facets provided by he-who-cannot-be-named (if anyone happens to know said lighting director’s name, please feel free to shoot me a message). Lighting is no doubt imperative when a group doesn’t have the energy of a full rhythm section off which to feed (although, if any duo could handle such a production it would be this one). I would be curious to see what kind of show these two put on prior to ditching their label.
In short, the group aimed to please, and that they did, playing crowd favorite after crowd favorite, along with a substantial encore. I’m sure the entire audience will be salivating at the potential return of The Dresden Dolls for a future show. | Sheila Shahpari
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Photos: Jeff Myers

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