I have to admit that when I heard that DOLL SKIN was coming back to Dallas, I was pretty psyched about it. The last time they were here, I was not able to attend (to my disappointment) but the time before, I was fortunate to see them play. DOLL SKIN’S shows are full of energy and bad-assery on stage. This year, they were the opening band for NEW FOUND GLORY and THE EARLY NOVEMBER, two bands, who quite frankly I didn’t give a damn about, because the girls had my heart. I was only there for them.
Playing at Gas Monkey Live! in north Dallas, the crowd was relatively small as is typically the case for an opening act. About the crowd, I thought to myself “these pukes don’t even know what they are missing or there would be more here.” As DOLL SKIN had just released their newest album Love is Dead and We Killed Her, I was really looking forward to hearing some new songs. I rather liked the new tunes, and had the good fortune to review it several weeks ago. I didn’t think it was as “punked up” as the previous records, but it was a good production and put together nicely. The vocals were totally outstanding.
Scheduled to begin at 7:00 sharp, the girls unexpectedly began their set early, about 6:50 pm. Glad I got there when I did as I was ready to collect a few snaps. Sydney Dolezal (lead vocals/guitar), Alex Snowden (lead guitar), Nicole Rich (bass) and Meghan Herring (drums) lit up the stage and were off and banging heads. Sort of a mix of pop and punk the ladies, all probably pushing the ripe old age of 23, were all over the stage.
Sydney belts the vocals and second guitar, Nicole cranks out and spins with her wireless bass, Alex is already all over the guitar and all the while Meghan punks out a driving beat. What’s fun is each lady has different color hair highlights, which is sort of a cool trademark they have. You can always tell who is who. I know I’m freaking ancient, but if colored hair was fashionable for men, I’d probably be in the middle of that. PAF.
Following were tunes off the new album “Mark My Words” and “Outta My Mind”. They are not heavy blasts by any means, but sounded great in front of the stage. Sydney and Nicole are especially entertaining and eat up the stage performance and interaction with the crowd. You can tell they love performing. At one point us shutterbugs had to vacate the photo pit because Sydney was coming off stage. Grabbing the wireless mic, she somehow flew across the pit and magically appeared in the crowd belting the lyrics to “Persephone”. The last time I saw something similar was when ANTI FLAG came off the stage and performed at the front of the crowd. Always a cool move as far as I’m concerned.
Probably my favorite DOLL SKIN song is “Family of Strangers”. I always crank it to the max when I hear it. I was thrilled that they played this one. So I was finally slowing down to actually watch the gig, and quit trying to get 12 billion shots, when the band announces “Puncha Nazi” was going to be their last song. WTF??? I was just getting into this gig and now they are leaving?? My heart just sank. I was so looking forward to hearing not only a long set list, but some other new tunes. My heart was broken. Not only did I not give a damn about the other bands, I had actually lost weight so I could fit into my old DOLL SKIN concert shirt. Oh man!! Well, what to do?
You know I get it. Being the warm up to two other better known bands, but man, to get so few songs, just basically sucks. The crowd doesn’t get an opportunity to hear a good part of your catalog, but I’m sure DOLL SKIN didn’t really have much choice in the matter. I looked at my watch and it was only 7:15. They had only played 20-25 minutes. I understand if it’s a festival and there are 20 bands, but three bands, starting early and half a dozen songs? Come on.
DOLL SKIN, you have a fan in me, but man, I felt bad that they could only play a short set. Next time I hope you all get to have a long run when you come to town. People need to hear your stuff. Your songs are bad ass and performance is your middle name. To say I was disappointed is an understatement, but I am glad I got to see one of my favorites. Long live DOLL SKIN. Salude’
LIVE IMAGES AND WORDS: MARK “\M/ETAL \M/ESSIAH” EHRLICH/M EHRLICH PHOTOGRAPHY