“Welcome to The Fillmore”. I love hearing that line delivered from Tim.
I walk in to a sparsely filled Fillmore, and am surprised. You should always pay attention to openers for a show at The Fillmore- they are generally of good quality.
On this evening, that opener was We Are the Fury. Wise choice. I thought they were really talented. It’s got to be a strange show to be an opener for- the crowd was, in general, either older or punk music elitist assholes. Not the kind of crowd to be as open to a young band as they deserved. Honestly, they are what local favorites Triple Cobra wish they could be- a fresh and relevant version of glam rock. I thought the vocalist in particular had a lot of charisma. He was trying really hard to get the crowd into it, which was a fruitless effort that further appeared to frustrate him. I got the sense that being a part of this tour was a great notch on the belt, but the audiences they encountered made it a big pain in the ass.
As the stage is set for The Dolls, a Billy Idolesque guy tests the mics, providing some entertainment to those paying attention (and since I was solo, I was looking for anything to entertain me). I believe one of the test vocals included something about a sour divorce.
I find myself getting slightly giddy when the guys hit the stage. It’s my first time to see them, and there is just something about David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain that makes me smile. This is perpetuated by the pleasant chemistry that the band exudes on stage. Johansen is just a remarkable icon in my mind; he’s this awesome mixture of Iggy, Jagger, Joey Ramone, Reed, and Bowie while still being so him…hmmm…that’s probably because he was their inspiration! And Syl is a unique guitarist in my mind, he’s very animated and I would be reluctant to refer to any other guitarist I like as I-want-to-squeeze-his-cheeks cute. But his facial expressions and constant pick exchange antics with the bassist are fun to watch.
Starting off with Babylon, Puss ‘n Boots, and We’re All In Luv, they then launched into a cover of Janis Joplin’s Piece of My Heart, which was really fun. It was interesting to hear it come from a man, since I identify it as such a woman’s song. But this is The Dolls. A few songs later, they remembered Johnny Thunders as Sylvain performed You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory. Trash came a bit later, which is one of my favorites, followed by ‘Jet Boy. Then the first encore was, of course ‘Personality Crisis‘, followed by ‘Tommy‘.
Johansen’s blue sparkly shirt, which definitely came from a Limited Too, was paired with a scarf belt, which transformed into a head scarf and a sarong at different points in the show. A vase of flowers had been placed on the stage during set up, and they were thrown by Johansen into the crowd towards the end of the set. What I couldn’t figure out was the music stand with a book of lyrics or music, that seemed to never be used. But the most bizarre part was when some metal head looking guy jumped on stage, thrashing around like fish out of water, until Billy Idolesque appeared like a linebacker and removed him from the stage by his neck.
I was really impressed overall. I went in there expecting a lukewarm reaction to a band that was way past its heyday, but walked out really inspired. Their energy is infectious, proving that The Dolls still got it.
New York Dolls performance: 7.5/10
We Are the Fury performance: 7/10
venue (The fillmore): 7.5/10 (Where is my f-ing poster? Stop being cheap!)
value ($29.50/ticket): 8.5/10
We Are the Fury