Dresden Dolls 

With Panic! at the Disco and the Hush Sound. Wednesday, July 12, at the Plain Dealer Pavillion.


In the three years since Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione released their debut disc, the Dresden Dolls have evaded trend-hoppers and quietly surrounded themselves with loyal fans. And though the venues are getting bigger, their larger-than-life performances generally remain the same: What you hear and feel is power and intensity; what you see is economy of motion. Instead of adding an orchestra pit or burlesque dancers, Amanda still wears her signature striped thigh-highs and Brian still dons his bowler hat -- somehow without becoming caricatures of themselves. Their strength lies in a singleness of vision; their art was never about just music.

They blur the lines by seeking artistic submissions from fans for their CD covers, film festivals, and live performances before shows. But it's not all about high art either, as exhibited by their dressing in costume to perform Sonny and Cher's "I Got You Babe" and Britney Spears' "Baby One More Time." Of course, whatever they choose to perform is infused with their striking, booming, yet intimate personas. Equally theatrical Panic! at the Disco joins the Dolls to round out an evening of artists who make up their own rules.

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