When the Dresden Dolls first burst into the public consciousness a near-decade ago, it was long before Lady Gaga, when theatricality wasn’t exactly a selling point in music and people didn’t go around wearing bowler hats and corsets as fashion statements. Times, it would seem, have changed.
After a three-year hiatus, punk cabaret twosome The Dresden Dolls—a.k.a. Amanda Palmer (piano, vocals) and Brian Viglione (drums, guitar, bass)—are kicking off a series of concerts, starting with a sold-out show on Sunday, October 31 at IrvingPlaza. They’re calling it their 10th Bandiversary Show, since the pair met on Halloween night of 2000 at an art/salon party Amanda threw at her house; she was playing her own material and accompanying herself on piano, and the rest is history. Crazypants, Weillian, brilliantly bombastic, penciled-in-eyebrow-arched history.
In honor of their long-anticipated reunion, we asked Amanda and Brian to recall the first show they played in New York.
AMANDA PALMER: If memory serves--and those days are mostly a black-out at this point--the first Dresden Dolls gig was at a club called Siberia.
BRIAN VIGLIONE: Now closed. It was on West 40th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues. It was 2001, a matter of days before 9/11. We had our little Volvo station wagon packed with gear and felt like it was such a big step at the time.
AP: We had an audience of about 20 people and we played in the basement, competing with a party upstairs.
BV: I remember the audience supportively hanging with us through every song, like we were the underdog in a boxing match.
AP: The blaring jukebox drowned out most of our music, but we were PLAYING IN NEW YORK, goddammit.
BV: A wee rock band; wide-eyed and totally hormonal. We drove home charged with New York chutzpah and ready for the next adventure.
The Dresden Dolls 10th Bandiversary Show with special guests, IrvingPlaza, Sunday 10/31 at 8PM; sold out, but check Craigslist for tickets.
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