When Dolls Don't Charm

The Dresden Dolls opened for Nine Inch Nails at Soma last May. Two years ago, the Dresden Dolls co-headlined a New Year's Eve show at 4th & B. Some people say the band shouldn't have played their sold-out April 18 show at Mira Mesa's Epicentre.

"I couldn't see the singer," says a fan. "I could see the drummer because he was on a riser. But because the stage was so low, only the first two rows could see the singer. But you can't raise the stage because of that big cross-beam over the stage. Even if they had a higher stage, the singer would be looking at that cross-beam because it hangs too low."

A Dresden Dolls tour staffer concedes that the all-age venue is not meant for national acts.

"It's a flat-out strange room," says the tour insider. "This [ten-date] tour was booked strictly with smaller, under-age venues in mind.... I don't think I really love [the Epicentre]. But we will continue to bring younger, developing bands there."

As to whether the venue attracted a young audience that night, the unhappy fan says one-fourth of the crowd at the show was under 21 and "one-quarter of the people were normal-looking people over 35. One quarter were gay men, and one-quarter was nerdy college kids. The night was all about gay German cabaret. It reminded me of Dieter from Saturday Night Live. 'Want to touch my monkey?'"

Epicentre's music director Jim Diaz had no comment.

The Dresden Dolls will return to San Diego later this year to open for Panic at the Disco. The venue for that show has not been announced.

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