Prom was an amazing experience. We started our night by meeting some of my band members at the Jackpot, in Lawrence. Listening to the radio on the ride over, we heard that there was a long line of people waiting to get in so we were in no hurry to get to Kansas City.
The Prom started at 6pm or 6:30pm and we didn't even get there until 8:45pm or so...ok, this is never goinging to get finished...
Here is part of a paper I wrote about the concert.
On April 5, 2006, my husband and I got dressed up and went to an Alternative concert that was apart of an event called “Second Chance Prom.” It was sponsored by Kansas City, Alternative radio station, 96.5 The Buzz. The event started at 6pm but the headlining band, The Dresden Dolls, weren’t playing until 10pm. We took our time going out to Kansas City from Lawrence, not really knowing what to expect.
My husband has been a fan of alternative music for a long time. I, on the other hand, only started listening to it as a way to not sing on the long car rides commuting from place to place. I listen to a wide variety of music, usually depending on my current mood! I don’t mind alternative but it isn’t my favorite thing to listen to.
When we arrived to The Madrid Theatre, the setting was your typical prom setting. There where cheesy gold and silver decorations everywhere. The audience was filled with people who looked like they would be “misfits” in high school. There were many people there who looked like they may have been apart of the “in crowd” in high school. It was a strange combination of people. There were people with colored hair and costume outfits. Lots of people proudly wore dark make up, tattoos and odd piercing. Strangely, I felt very comfortable, like I, for once, didn’t stand out in a crowd.
The Dresden Dolls where accompanied by a living statue that stood still for three hours in the main lobby. There opening act was a group of belly dancers. I had only heard a song or two on the radio and was beginning to really wonder what else to expect.
The two members of the ensemble finally came on stage, also dressed in their prom attire. Amanda, composer, vocalist, and pianist wore a green prom dress from the 1980s. The drummer, Brian, also wore a dress from the 1980s but it was quickly removed and he wore a pair of boxers for the remainder of their performance. Based on all the exterior craziness, I imagined we were going to call it an early night.
The piano started softly, in a very repetitive sequence sparked my interest right away. As the song continued, it was very warm, and energetic. Most of their music kind of sounds the same; dark and rich. I have been having a difficult time finding words to describe their music. I heard their style of music referred to as “Punk Cabaret.” Strangely, that kind of makes sense to me but I am not sure why. It reminds me of something you might hear in a Cabaret or Vaudeville performance.
I missed the audience reaction to the artists. Some people sat upstairs on the balcony while others stood up close to the front of the stage. I did both. My eyes were glued to the performers as this passion poured from their very being. I have never seen musicians play as passionately as these two were. Music could have been coming from their pores!
Amanda uses her voice and lyrics like an instrument. Much like the early vocalist of Jazz, she uses the voice in a variety of ways to help add to song. Her words and vocal quality help paint a picture of the emotions she is trying to display. Listening to her songs was (and still is) like hearing a story.
The couple exited the stage at the end of their set. They were gone for what felt like forever. They came back on to play their new single, Sing, a beautifully melodic song with a beautiful message about using music as an instrument for communication. The words, “Just sing!” rang out, followed by a series of notes and tight harmonies that make you want to sing out in agreement! A perfect ending to this wonderful evening!
I went home energized and excited. Well that’s not entirely true because I fell asleep on the way home! The next few days, I craved that experience again. I wanted their music around me all the time. I finally got their old album about a week later and I couldn’t shut it off. This music made me feel. Some songs make me want to dance, while others make me want to cry. The point is that it makes me feel something deeper than most music has ever done for me before.
I don’t know that I would recommend that anyone go out and buy theses albums or go to their concert. I think The Dresden Dolls are amazing and write songs about truth and real issues. With reality, comes issues some people don’t want to hear about. The idea of “out of sight, out of mind” is not a popular theme of this music. This music presents problems as if, just by discussing it, it will make it better. This music is not for the easily offended! I would recommend giving it with an open mind!
The Dresden Dolls are coming back to KC in July. I had my heart set on going but I didn't buy tickets because I didn't have the money. Now they are sold out...grrrr. Maybe I can win tickets again. But at least I can say I had the oppurtnity to see them once!!
Here are some pictures from that night!