New York Dolls @ Bowery Ballroom, 3/16/11


Celebrating the release of their fantastic new album, Dancing Backward in High Heels, legendary punk pioneers, the New York Dolls, played two shows, March 16th and 17th, at Bowery Ballroom.  Frontman David Johansen is still as quirky as ever with his Jagger-like moves and deep, drawn-out, overly enunciative punk growl.  The level of camaraderie on stage Wednesday night made the band seem like a young group of 20 year olds in their very first band—before all the sex and drugs get in the way.  They were clearly having fun and so was the crowd, which seemed to be a healthy mix of back-in-the-dayers and new, 20-something fans.

The Dolls mixed a lot of their classic material with cuts off their new album (“Funky but Chic,” “Streetcake”), all of which were well-received by the audience.  “Trash,” with a bit of Mickey and Silvia’s “Love Is Strange” thrown in was a lot of fun, as was the cover of Bo Diddley’s “Pills” with a bit of the song “Bo Diddley” itself mixed in.  “Personality Crisis,” played during their encore, and “Cause I Sez So” sounded fantastic as well.  With screaming guitars, a proper frontman, and a little help from bassist (and album producer!) Jason Hill of Louis XIV, a damn fine rock and roll show was had.

(This fan clearly had a good time.)

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Julie Kocsis is Associate Editor and a contributing writer of Living in Brooklyn, she works for Penguin Random House during the day and writes about rock bands at night. In addition to her many band interviews as well as album and concert reviews that have been published on, she has also been published on The Huffington Post, Brooklyn Exposed and the Brooklyn Rail.


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