A week ago, if you'd told me I was going to see a rock show that was stranger than Hank III, I would have laughed in your face. Even though you didn't, and I didn't, I take it back.
The bartender bought me tickets to see the Dresden Dolls on Friday night for no apparent reason other than he knew I wanted to go. I say tickets because he bought me two, but I ended up going alone because there's been a rash of douchebagotry going around.
The first thing I noticed was that I didn't get the memo about the dress code. Apparently at Dolls shows you're meant to show up dressed as a creepy doll. Even if you're a dude. Also, there was a couple dressed up as a doctor and a nurse handing out vials of something I was pretty sure I didn't want to drink.
I also had not been expecting the strippers. The first thing I saw when I walked in was a girl wearing nothing but panties and pasties prancing around onstage. Turns out the opening act was a burlesque show. It also turns out they got in a little bit of trouble for it, because they found out after the fact that it's illegal to have women in pasties where alcohol is being served in Chicago. Though less trouble than they got in for the same thing in Salt Lake City, they pointed out. Oops.
The next act was a band called Reverend Glasseye, which sounded sort of like folk music mixed with carnival music. Except much louder and they were very angry about something. Possibly religion. But it was very interesting.
The next act was something called Buried Alive, which consisted of a girl and a boy doing some kind of interpretive dance/performance art thingy. I can't be sure, but I think it was about two dead people having sex, or possibly two people trying to kill each other through having sex. I could be wrong. I do know there was definitely sex, flowers and a grave. This performance prompted my favorite moment of the night. There was a girl standing near me who was pierced all the way down both sides of her neck and her chest. She had a series of rings in the holes and a red satin ribbon woven through them like she was some kind of human corset. It was this girl who, after the performance, turned around and said "That was weird."
Finally at about 1:15 in the morning the Dresden Dolls took the stage. Holy crap. Allow me to bow down before all that is awesome about the Dresden Dolls.
Thank you. They played a great mix of songs from their upcoming album and songs off their old one. Coin Operated Boy was particularly awesome. I was originally drawn to this band by Amanda Palmer's lyrics, but let me tell you: Brian Viglione steals the live show. Their recordings don't do his drumming justice at all. Additionally, recordings don't capture his hilarious mime-like stage antics. What an incredibly talented performer.
Besides their own stuff, they also covered "Amsterdam" by Jacques Brel (who I love) and, bizarrely, Black Sabbath's War Pigs which turned surprisingly awesome with nothing but a piano and drums.
I hate to admit this, but I left before the encore. Because it was already past 3 a.m. and so 6 hours past my bedtime. Also I figured if I left a little early I had a better chance of not get trampled by an army of creepy dolls. You should totally check out the Dresden Dolls if this tour is coming through your town. Now with more boobies!