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Punk cabaret

The Dresden Dolls
Pabst Theatre
Milwaukee, WI
Oct. 19, 2006
Dresden Dolls Dresden Dolls

Story and photos Matt Schwenke

Self-described as Brechtian punk cabaret, The Dresden Dolls certainly have a demure flair for the dramatic in their two-person show, and singer and piano player Amanda Palmer and drummer Brian Viglione are a delicate balance of bassy vocals, dark keys, oft-taboo lyrics and precise, heavy drumming. With an emphasis on mood, the duo created a cynical pop sound in "Coin Operated Boy," which featured the duo mimicking a record skip to near perfection and Palmer writhing behind her keys, and later an eerie dirge in the slow strut of "Mrs. O" from the group's latest release Yes, Virginia...

Shifting from metal poundings to a sexy waltz mid-song, "Modern Moonlight" was a turbulent ride while "The Perfect Fit" began with whispers and cymbal washes that turned into a storm of yells and floor tom beats-- even throwing in a tease of the Doors' "Hello I Love You." With the surging rhythms of "" and "Gravity," which was flanked by dancers, The Dresden Dolls provided more contrast and a well-needed break from their heavy rhythms with Viglione on acoustic guitar and Palmer singing to start the show and later to open the encore with Tears for Fears' "Mad World." But to end the night, it was back to full power with "Girl Anachronism."

Dresden Dolls Dresden Dolls
Dresden Dolls Dresden Dolls
Dresden Dolls

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