Some Pervs Are Better than Others
Apparently, the smart move for a young band coming up is to build your image on scuzz, trash and scoring horse, then keep your band so junked up that you never really put in a stellar live performance, then wait several decades until nearly all the original members are dead to hire a more capabable replacement band, then go on a full-on reunion tour. Last night, this recipe worked for the New York Dolls.
The original New York Dolls were half image, half talent. When drugs crossed over from the one half to eat the other, it spelled the end of the band. But, it became a built-in excuse for the band's current, shall we say, worn appearance. We can't forgive Jagger for getting old, but we goddamn expect David Johansen to. So the stage was set; the worse, the better.
Johansen, one of two original surviving members of the Dolls, took the stage with prop cigaratte at the obsurdly early time of 7:20 PM. The band opened with a particularly slimey "Looking For A Kiss". Now, the song is supposed sound gross coming from a singer up to his wrists in brown, shopping around "fixin' a kiss". But now, it's gross from a smarmy geezer stalking urban campuses for first-year lip-prey. Two sources, similar results.
The band's been touring for a while, so their set is tighter than the first incarnation ever was, apparently. The energy of the band far outran the energy of the crowd. (Not that this was in any way responsive to the music, it was simply due the average age of a New York Doll fan.)
The sound was excellent, as The Pheonix Concert Theatre is generally. The Dolls played about 100 minutes. The set included material from both albums, covers of "Piece of My Heart" and "Out in the Streets", and a new song written while on tour.
Other highlights included the accelerated "Trash" and the extended "Human Being" closer. Also, Syl Sylvain kept calling Johansen a "fag".
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