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March 17, 2010

Amanda Fucking Palmer

Concerts & Grog Fests, Steff

First of all – here is what I wore:

steffmetal-outfit-amanda-palmer

Ew, my stockings are falling down a bit. I need to get some garters.

  • Black lace dress with lace tail. (Smoove, on sale for 50%)
  • Black leather bustier (21st birthday present from a big group of friends. One day I will tell the amusing story of how we found this corset.) It’s beautiful and very unique – I think it’s been handmade. It’s lots of little scrappy squares of leather sewn together into the bustier. There’s no boning so I won’t call it a “corset” but the stiffness of the leather gives it a nice shape.
  • Red ribbed thigh-high socks, from Sock Dreams (present from wonderful Mum and Dad Metal.) They’re so lovely and warm
  • Steel-cap NZ-Safety boots
  • Orange scarf, gift from Mum Metal, from Australia (not many of you would know this, but orange is actually my favorite colour. Or would be, if I could see colours.)
steff-metal-tail-dress

I have a tail!

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Orange Scarf

I’ve seen Amanda Palmer before, when she came with the Dresdon Dolls in 2006, I think it was. They were most excellent then, but now, she’s incredible. Ten minutes before Hera, the opening act, was to start, she came out into the bar to give out hugs and sign stuff. I got me a hug, and one of my postcards signed. She’s tiny, and lovely. I went by my lonesome, but met up with my friend Levi and some of his friends, Max from the good ole Hawke’s Bay, sporting some fine steampunkey threads, Vince and Louisa (hi guys!) who were all very lovely. I squeezed my way to the front for the show.

Everyone’s jostling to get the three inches closer to the front of the stage, the lights dim, and nothing happens. Suddenly, everyone turns around. Amanda’s on top of the bar, dressed in a corset and star-spangled stockings, singing “he’s making whoopie” and strumming her Ukelele. She saunters up to the stage, sits down at the keyboard and hits a dramatic first note. Nothing happens. Que soundman – who manages to make the keyboard work. She opens with two songs from her solo project, Who Killed Amanda Palmer? – “Ampersand” and “Astronaut”.

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Amanda Palmer

If you go to an Amanda Palmer show, you can’t expect to just stand there, arms folded, and watch. It’s an entire performance experience. You, as the audience, collectively create the experience. She encourages this. One of the first thing she said when she saw two of the girls in front of me trying to take photos of the setlist (why? I don’t know) was “Don’t worry about that. I don’t use it anyway. I normally just ask what you guys want to hear. I want you to tell me “.

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Next, we had “Ask Amanda” where we all wrote questions down on scraps of paper and passed them onto the stage. The first one she pulled out wanted her to tell us about the first song she ever wrote. We asked her to play it: Herein follows the delightful video evidence (poor Amanda.)

She then performed an Exorcism on the first Twilight book.

amanda-palmer-twilight-exorcism

Twilight Exorcism

What did we have next? More song requests: “Oasis”, “Half Jack”, “Coin-Operated Boy”, a brilliant cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billy Jean” (it has to be good for me to say this because I’ve never liked Michael Jackson songs. Don’t shoot me – it’s just not my thing). Then she played the song she wrote in Wellington, NZ, backstage during her last tour. I have a video of that, too.

10 Reasons Why Amanda Palmer is awesome

  1. She’s a testament the power you have to touch people’s lives with music, especially when you reach out to fans over and above simply writing and releasing songs.
  2. She’s a shining example of how an effective use of blogging and social media can grow your business and totally change your career
  3. When she performs, she gives it everything she’s got. I’ve seen bands who “go through the motions” but when she plays, you feel as though you’re hearing this song as she writes it, with all the emotion dripping from her voice
  4. She is clueless about pop culture
  5. She’s beautiful, inside and out
  6. She writes crazy, wild music about life in all it’s glory, beauty and folly
  7. She loves Black Sabbath
  8. She’s brutally honest and completely open
  9. She creates am incredible live atmosphere because of her devotion to creating the show YOU want to see. Her shows are more a conversation between herself and the audience. I believe they call it “breaching the wall”. I wish more bands would embrace this – I’ve only seen one metal band do this, and that was Opeth.
  10. She’s engaged to Neil Gaimen, which shows us all she has impeccable taste.

So yeah, I had a good night. How did you spend St. Patrick’s Day?

Steff

6 Comments on “Amanda Fucking Palmer

steff
March 20, 2010 at 3:14 pm

@v. Well, Amanda said she certainly felt better having rid herself of the demons. I’m not sure the sod who caught the book when she threw it into the audience will rid himself of it in a great hurry, though.

v
March 20, 2010 at 8:47 am

The orange scarf really makes it. Love that!

St.Patrick’s day is a bit of a non-event here in Zagreb, but it happened to be an absolutely beautiful day so I spent it sitting in the park being a nature nerd and taking pictures of falcons.

I envy you the opportunity to see Amanda perform. Did the exorcism work? I really hope so.

steff
March 18, 2010 at 2:55 pm

@E. Thanks! Being colour-blind, I can sort of get away with mixing colours that SHOULD NOT BE MIXED. By “get away with” I mean “does not realise how silly she looks”.

The project she’s touring at the moment is her solo thing – so no Brian, but there might be future Dresdon Dolls albums in the works. I saw them last time the Dresdon Dolls came to NZ, in 2006, I think, and they were both so candid and sweet and chilled out. It was an amazing show. Also, I’ve never even seen a metal drummer hit his cymbols with such ferocity – I think Brian cracked three just in that one show.

If she used to be aloof, she’s completely changed :). I love how unconventional she is – that wheelbarrow stunt sounds awesome – full respect on that :).

E.Bleak
March 18, 2010 at 8:09 am

First off I wanna say that I love the outfit – I always steer clear of mixing orange and reds but it really works well here and the vertical ribbing on the socks makes your legs look about a million miles long. :)

Amanda Palmer is from Boston and I used to live around the corner from Dresden Circle, where she lived when the Dresden Dolls got started – I’d see her at the bus stop once in a while. They played an acoustic show at some science fiction convention (YES I AM A NERD) when I was in college and they were almost completely unheard of at the time, as in, “opening for a Star Trek-themed filk band” unheard of. Amanda was not big on talking to the crowd, but Brian the drummer was and he’s a total sweetheart – is he still part of Amanda’s live act?

Anyway, a bunch of people around Boston have some seriously cray-cray stories about her that probably bumped up my respect for her more than her aloof personality – a long history of rebelling against her richy-rich parents. Apparently, when she went to art school, she did a performance art project about veganism, where she stripped naked and covered herself in fake blood, then had her friend roll her into the college cafeteria in a wheelbarrow and dump her across a dining table, where she laid motionless for the next hour.

I’m no vegan, but that is SERIOUSLY hardcore and a little crazy – the best kind of artist. Glad you had fun at the show! :D

Paulina
March 17, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Thanks for the input :) I am definitely leaning towards Brick. It’s the perfect shade of deep red. Yum.

Also, by the way, I never thought I’d find someone in the online fashion blogging community who likes metal. Very cool :)

Paulina
March 17, 2010 at 6:16 pm

I was so into the Dresden Dolls in middle school when Coin Operated Boy came out. Must check to see if I still have any of their music.

Also Opeth are freakin’ awesome.

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