GIG Review: The Dresden Dolls

Ever asked yourself ‘do scene kids still exist in 2016?’

Clearly you’ve never been to a Dresden Dolls gig.

This manic panic fever dream crowd convened at the Blue Hills Bank pavilion to see the self-IDed ‘punk-cabaret‘ duet who have been on hiatus since 2008.


Made up of singer and pianist Amanda Palmer and drummer Brian Viglione, the duo preformed a nearly THREE HOUR set in almost 30 degree heat. Pretty impressive I have to admit.

I’ve never experienced cabaret-punk before but it was an interesting mixture of piano moshing by Palmer, heavy drum riffs by Viglione, accompanied by dark lyrics and punchy vocals. The duo performed an incredible amount of hits in their extensive set, something their cult following reveled in after their 8 year absence.

I found the first half of the set a little dry. Palmer and Viglione seemed to be re-finding their stride. Viglione’s talent carried the set, his evident affinity behind a kit propping up Palmer’s vocals that, for about an hour, swung between yelling and what can only be described as dolphin impressions.

I’ve heard Palmer sing before and there’s no doubt she’s talented but for some reason that just seemed to be missing for this performance. I think this was mainly be due to her excited return to the stage but it would have been nice to see a little more professionalism and skill.

The later half of the night was a marked improvement. Bringing onto the stage warm-up act PWRBTTM, a brass band and a gaggle of dancers, there was a new energy and sense of joy to a set that in Amanda’s words was about ‘ex-boyfriends and Boston’.


The Dresden Doll’s cover of Killing in The Name Of was a highlight, followed shortly by a charming cover of Fight For your Right.

Overall, the duo gave an energetic performance of their very original sound which was clearly enjoyed by their cult following.

But I can’t say I’m going to be buying their albums anytime soon.

Especially after paying $14 for a fucking beer.


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