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New York Dolls / April 17, 2008 / Buenos Aires (Teatro Roxy)
With Spanish as broken as it was endearing, David Johansen came onstage in the first of the band’s two presentations in Argentina, intent on conquering the public that had been awaiting them for so"Hey Buenos Aires, aquí están sus primas: ¡The New York Dolls!".("Hey Buenos Aires, here are your cousins:The New York Dolls!").
With Spanish as broken as it was endearing, David Johansen came onstage in the first of the band’s two presentations in Argentina, intent on conquering the public that had been awaiting them for so long.
"Thirty years isn’t too much or too little," yelled the leader of the group that got the glam and punk rock party started in the ’70s with lipstick, long hair, extravagant clothes and scenic cross-dressing.
Although it sounds strange, the words spoken by the ever-more charismatic vocalist made sense that night in the Buenos Aires theater. It resembled a New York club from three decades ago: a crowd abundant in black eyeliner, high-heeled boots, exotic hairstyles and dark red lips. In other words, glam, baby, glam. Plenty, too, donned Morrissey t-shirts – visages of the guy indirectly responsible for this concert, since he got the Dolls together for the Meltdown Festival in London a few short years ago.
The line-up evoked the original but the differences can be easily discerned by veteran fans, since only Johansen and guitarist Sylvain Sylvain remain from the early days. The new faces included Steve Conte, a real treat on lead guitar, Sami Yaffa on bass, drummer Brian Delaney and Brian Koonin on keyboards.
The band chose to start with two classics from 1974, "Babylon" and "Puss 'N' Boots" (both from the band’s most characteristic album "Too Much Too Soon"), which were rabidly celebrated by the almost 1,000 fans present for this South American resurrection of the lipstick killers.
With a compact sounds following the punk recipe dominated by drums (but with the bass lost in the thick block of sound) Johansen demonstrated his gifts as a singer and that time is only a limitation for the weak among us. His body, his personality and his voice have resisted the happy and psychedelic years gone by. For the most part, this -- plus Conte’s excellent contribution, sparks flying from his guitar during more than one solo – is what allows this group to sound so good. They are as “now” as they were "then," performing with the same enthusiasm on new songs "We Are All In Love", "Plenty of Music" or, for the finale, "Dance Like a Monkey," as they do tackling their old hits.