For nearly an hour last night, the New York Dolls played to type as an aging, reunited rock 'n' roll band living off their legacy: solid but not inspired, willing but a little fatigued. Then something kicked in. "Muddy Bones," from their new album Cause I Sez So, a song pulled from the early Stones playbook, seemed to energize David Johansen, Sylvain Sylvain and the other, newer, Dolls. The shoulder-to-shoulder crowd on the floor of the State Theatre picked up on it.
For the show's remaining 40-or-so minutes, the New York Dolls conjured up their rambunctious early-'70s selves, sans the drag attire and the heroin and with far better chops. Extended versions of early tunes "Jet Boy," "Personality Crisis" and "Trash" which alternated between the early punk version and the reggae take on Sez So brought the set to a loud, satisfying crescendo.