Music » Critics' Picks

Dresden Dolls

8 p.m. Saturday, October 21. The Pageant (6161 Delmar Boulevard).

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When St. Louis last saw the Dresden Dolls, the punk-cabaret duo was cavorting with local pole-dancers and screening fan-submitted animation shorts as part of "Fuck the Back Row," a supplementary set the group performed in select cities. Earlier that evening, the Boston band had shared the stage with Panic! at the Disco, and all didn't go swimmingly: Singer Amanda Palmer blogged recently that "the tour was hell" and many of Panic!'s "fans were the antithesis of Rock Love." The Dolls headline Saturday's return engagement, and an expanded set list should compensate for what this concert lacks in conceptual gimmickry (perhaps the pair is stockpiling ideas for their month-long hometown engagement, "The Onion Cellar," a theatrical production set in a "bizarre underground club where the audience peels onions for emotional release"). Palmer's piano-plinking flourishes and lurid, intensely communicated lyrics make her rock's most compelling frontwoman, while drummer Brian Viglione ranks as history's noisiest mime.

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