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 Irving Plaza. 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, Irving Plaza, Sunday 10/31 at 8PM; sold out, but check Craigslist for tickets.
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