This week has been one of checking out younger artists for Eclectic Arts - one of which was new to me, two of which were not. Doll Skin fit into the ladder category having seen them last year in April.
The foursome from Phoenix AZ were out on a headlining run of dates supporting their newest release, "Manic Pixie Dream Girl", which came out on the best day ever - June 16th (my birthday).
The band joined the Warped Tour for several dates earlier this summer (including Seattle on June 16th) before this headlining run of shows. They will be hitting the road again this fall on the One Eyed Doll tour.
Doll Skin initially created a buzz due to their young ages, the David Ellefson connection of Megadeth fame, and perhaps being an all female band. Anyone who saw the band live in the last year or so know that they are exactly that - a band. Other than Sydney's voice sounding young (which can't be helped due to her age - it'll mature as she matures), the band bring a raw intensity on stage that rivals any other band I've seen, regardless of their age. The punk spirit is there as well as a healthy dose of fun. When I first saw the band, I could not believe how bombastic they were for being a relatively new band. They killed it a year ago and I could only imagine what all this touring had done to hone their stage experience.
Thursday's show was all ages so I expected to see a lot of the younger set at the gig. I'd say there was almost a 50/50 split. I do believe some parents brought their teens to the show and then hung out in the bar area as well to watch.
After a brief changeover from the opening bands (Amsterdam from Seattle were quite good and Next To None showed their prowess on their instruments), Sydney (vocals/guitar) asked the crowd to come close to hear her secret. After the crowd obliged, she screamed, "we are Doll Skin and we're ready to rock" (or something close to that).
The band played many tunes off, "Manic Pixie Dream Girl", including single "Shut Up". Bopping, jumping, and headbanging all around the stage, Doll Skin are like a precision missile on stage these days. Alex (guitar), Nicole (bass), and Meghan (drums) are really coming into their own. The new songs are well written and their live performance has strengthened and improved (and they were already good to begin with) since last year.
It was interesting to watch some of the younger fans in the audience. You could see that look on their faces of pure bliss watching one of their favorite bands. I also believe that Doll Skin is showing young ladies in general that you can do whatever it is that you want to in life. They are role models at such a young age but it would not surprise me to see more and more young rock/punk bands in the next five years or so that sight Doll Skin as an influence.
From start to finish the performance was so worth the price of admission. I would of liked to have heard, "Furious Fixation" but that's just a minor quibble. I still can't get parts of certain songs out of my head - they're so catchy!
An idea popped into my head while at the show as well. Doll Skin were marketing themselves last year with different hair color for each member. I think they should take that a step or two further. Much like the Beatles and KISS back in the day, I think the band should consider emphasizing the "four of them equals one" idea.
For starters, live, they could pick one song that each of the band members sings a bit of lead on. They all sing background vocals so this isn't much of a stretch. Take "Family Of Strangers" and have each member sing a line from a verse, or two lines, or whatever feels natural. I think the fans would love it and I think it would bring a new aspect to the band.
If the idea really starts to grow, then have each member eventually sing their own song - like Ace Frehley was known for "Shock Me" and Peter Criss "Beth", there could be a song that is Nicole's, one that is Alex's, one that is Meghan's, etc.
Marketing could follow suit - release different cover art for, say, a single that has each member on a different cover (all for the same single). The ideas are really endless. Just a random thought. Maybe the band will kick it around and try it out in the live setting first. Again, that would be the easiest place to give it a go.
Doll Skin bring it, plain and simple. Wherever you are, when they come to town, go out and support them. After the show, for whatever reason, if you didn't like it, then you can tell me to "shut up".
Special Thanks: Shauna for the credentials!
Other Notes: I was scheduled to do an interview with the band before the show but due to scheduling issues, I couldn't get to the venue during the allotted 6pm time. Hopefully, next time they come through town I can sit down with the band and pick their brains a bit.
Other Other Notes: I've been listening to the new album for the last week. Even though I liked it before I saw the gig, I really like it that much more now. Punchy production, great songs, and there's an air of that punk vibe that comes through that I really enjoy. The balance between the songs, the production, and the performances, really make this one of the best albums of 2017.