Best Concert of the Past 12 Months

The Dresden Dolls at Frederick's Music Lounge

If you're a fan of onstage theatrics, these days you're pretty much limited to the Flaming Lips and a bunch of bands that hop around wildly in the hope that it'll pass for bombast. But those lucky souls who were at Frederick's Music Lounge this past March to catch Boston's Dresden Dolls saw more than a concert. They saw a show. Singer/pianist Amanda Palmer, in her pancake makeup and banded stockings, twisted, crooned, screamed and pleaded, twisting her songs around her fist like a piece of barbed wire. Drummer Brian Viglione, dressed like a Clockwork Orange extra, pounded out clockwork beats that underpinned the songs and assaulted the crowd. For the encore, Viglione abandoned his skins and grabbed a guitar, and the duo made the bar a stage as they climbed atop it to deliver a stinging cover of Neutral Milk Hotel's "Two Headed Boy." It was a potent reminder that, even if they have them, the Dolls don't need props or gimmicks to deliver the rock & roll goods.

 
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