Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Dresden Dolls Rock Christchurch

Those of you who follow my Twitter updates may remember my free ticket score from @frankieMagazine, to go see The Dresden Dolls live a couple of weeks ago. All I had to do was 'retweet' a post from Frankie Magazine and, as Dr Sheldon Cooper would say, BAZINGA! My name was on the door for 7:30 at the Burnside Aurora Centre. Unfortunately the giveaway was only a single pass. I would just have to deal with being lonely. Feeling very independent and cool, I leave the house wearing Knee high Dr Martens and a red and white polka dot mini dress. Because I'm a struggling seventeen year old, I take the family Barina, and head out on my restricted license. In New Zealand the curfew for a restricted license in 10pm. I try not to think about this. I arrive early, not entirely sure what to expect. I had heard of Amanda Palmers' music, but not a lot of The Dresden Dolls, so I was excited to see what I was missing out on.

The Dresden Doll duo.
Upon my arrival I see a mix of different people. Men with long hair, girls dressed like they live in the 1800s, Dr martens and converse, gothic long black jackets. Even, 'gasp' dare I say it!? Piercings and tattoos! Im ecstatic, even though I'm here by myself, I've never felt more a part of a group like this before. For once, I actually feel underdressed. Im awkwardly embarrassed for a few moments, then realize that everyone is purely embracing themselves. I feel safe again.

I hop into the massive line and eventually end up at the front counter. My name is supposed to be at the door on a special Frankie Magazine list. Alas no, apparently my name was missed out. The grey haired woman at the counter gives me a look of sympathy. 'Don't worry' she advises, 'There was another girl left off the list too.' She gives me a sly smile, 'I'll let you in' she grins. Yes! The weight in my chest lifts. Only to be crushed back upon me when Im asked if I'm over 18. Theres a pregnant pause. I easily look 18, I could easily pass for 18, I have even been served as 18. One problem. The woman at the counter is still holding my drivers license.. after I handed it to her to prove my twitter identity (Even though I wasn't on the bloody list anyway!). Not wanting to lie (seeing as my ID is right in her hands) I bow my head and wince the words 'No, no I'm not.' The woman snatches my hand and stamps it with a wink.

A photo I took on my cell phone of the show.

As Im alone, its pretty easy to find a seat. I end up front and centre beside two older women, very pleased that I managed to swindle myself in, (so I tell myself). The above photo was taken on my cell phone so I  apologize for the poor quality. Not everybody has a smart phone. Before the Dolls come on the audience are entertained by the "Daredevil Chicken Club" an American busking act, who play catch with their mouths and pieces of banana. (surprisingly gross, yet entertaining). Later the New Zealand opening band "House Of Mountain" rocks the stage with some grinding tunes supporting Australian artist "Hera". In my opinion, she was a bit giggly and I couldn't tell when she was/wasn't being serious. Don't get me wrong, that can be a good thing! The rest of the crowd seemed content.

Daredevil Chicken Club.
There is an uproar of applause as the Dolls take the stage. Vocalist Amanda Palmer in a humble kimono dress, Drummer, Brian Viglione wearing a waistcoat completing his look with full circus style face paint. Palmer sings opening song "The cosmic Dancer" as Viglione plays acoustic guitar. The song is mesmerizing.
Its not long until Palmer ditches the conservative kimono Revealing a black bra. She begins to hammer her keyboard, belting out beauty and emotion in each and every song. Viglione is just as capable of capturing the audiences attention though, I've never seen a drummer perform with so much consistent energy. Through out the show, the Dolls bounce off each other with humor while chatting casually to the audience onstage. They encourage us to create a mini mosh pit and  play a cover of Science fiction/Double feature from the film "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" which everyone can sing along to.
Palmer on keyboard.

Time flys, and before I know it Im Cinderella, Its past 10pm. I decide to stay, curfew cant be THAT important. Originally my mum and I had a master plan. I txt her before I leave, (if the concert continues after 10pm). Something along the lines of 'Ok show is over can you come get me?" Which I very convincingly do send. I then wait for mums reply, (We both agreed she wouldn't reply so I could show this to the police officer in the unlikely event that I am pulled over while driving illegally.) The master plan is in motion, I can enjoy the show! Around 12:00 It seems like the show is about to wrap up, I head out the door, ready in line for autographs and photos with the band. I wait. Its now close to 1am and they seem to just keep playing! Disappointingly this is the moment when my cell phone decided to crap out and die on me. AGAIN. No camera. Slightly aggravated I leave, pretending to answer a call on my dead phone for the sake of the merchandise assistants (who have been eyeing me up curiously for the past half hour). Im assuming they were wondering what/who the hell I was waiting for...

I arrive home shortly after 1pm. Mum is up waiting for me. Thought I had been abducted. Silly woman. I hadn't been able to answer any of her calls because of my flat phone. I realize it had probably been over an hour since the "master plan" txt message was sent. Its understandable she is worried.

Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione.
Later when my phone is charged, I laugh when I read my messages. The last thing I sent to mum before I was "abducted" is 'There is a cool guy who looks like Marilyn Manson here!' No wonder she was anxious! Overall It was a great experience, even better because I got in for free and as a minor, even though I was not on the list! If you get the opportunity, Definitely go to a Dresden Dolls concert. It was beyond amazing.

Just charge your phone before you go.
A full license couldn't hurt either...

Thats me.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Monsters were Born This Way.

Hi guys, I hope you were as excited as I was when I heard Lady Gaga had announced another World Tour! Those of you who don't know, I was lucky enough in 2010 to get my hands on a Monster Ball ticket, Fly from Christchurch New Zealand, to Auckland (still New Zealand) skip school and be accepted into the cult like following of Gaga as the 'freak' I was and still am. Tickets in NZ go on sale in exactly one week through Ticketmaster. One week!  7 days! Im anxious as hell to get my 'paws' on a ticket to see my 'Mother Monster' rock the city again. Personally I think she should come rock Christchurch, after the many earthquakes in Canterbury. Since the quakes, I have been to one concert! only one and i'm beginning to have withdrawals! But Im sold by Gaga's theatrical edge, Im going no matter what the cost or how much school I will miss. I think many fans across the globe will feel the same way as well.

Gaga in 'Marry The Night.'
The previous tour, The Monster ball was everything I dreamed it would be and better. I'm not ashamed to admit that I sometimes still close my eyes and imagine the lights, hear the sounds, and wish I could escape back to that moment for just one more minute. Recently Lady Gaga released a fantastic DVD Of The Monster Ball Live In Madison Square Garden. I bought it ofcourse. I was bawling my eyes out after the first 5 minutes! (Don't worry I laughed and smiled too). The point I am trying to emphasize is that Lady Gaga is relatable to everyone who has ever felt different or like the 'underdog' of the pack. Whether the difference is your sexuality, ethnicity, religion or even music preference I can say that I don't think there is anyone out there who hasn't  felt like an outsider before. If no one can accept you for you, Its their problem.

Gaga in 'Born This Way.'
 Gaga encourages diversity and sends loving messages to her 'Little Monsters' about acceptance and the simple fact that "You were born this way." In other words its OK to be abnormal. Its OK to be yourself and Its OK to become who you want to be. Therefore, I feel this phenomenal woman has genuinely earned the trust of her fans and become one of the most (if not the most) successful artists of our time. She is brutally honest and admits her flaws both in interviews and her music. After all, "No ones perfect."

A few days ago on  social networking sites Facebook and Twitter, Gaga announced the new tour.

"To give you a bit of insight on the design of my new tour, the central area within the stage will be known as "The Monster Pit." "The Monster Pit" is General Admission only, and Little Monsters unlock it when they arrive to the arena or stadium. Entry to "The Monster Pit" is relegated to the fans who have arrived first, waited all night, + dressed to "Ball." 

I can only imagine how many desperate Little Monsters will be clawing each others eyes out for the limited spots! But it seems fair, line up early and fight for your place (in a lovingly monster way of course!)

Garr!!! So the plan from here is to study hard, save hard and book flights for yet another unforgagattable experience. Did you see what I did there? - Im sorry Im breaking out the awful puns! Im just so darn excited! I will keep you posted on my ticketing progress.

Proposed staging for the new tour.
Thats me.
I will see you at the Ball!