“Creep by Radiohead could have been sung by Jesus,” Amanda Palmer proclaims after opening her sold-out show with In My Mind. It’s just her and her Ukulele. She continues that way with The Thing About Things before moving to the piano for The Killing Type, a song from her album Theatre is Evil. Taking requests, she makes the fans feel heard and creates an intimate, almost living-room-like atmosphere in The Liquid Rooms. Amanda is not only on stage to be looked at; with her it’s a two-way street. She wants to be seen and see. Asking for a “romantic light” to shine on her audience, she makes communicating with her fans seem a pleasure, not a task.
Her rendition of Missed Me is dark yet funny, The Bed Song is a whole life story (or rather two) in one song, and Bottomfeeder makes not only hard-core Amanda Palmer fans dance. A Mother’s Confession talks about her struggles as a mother. We all join in to sing “…at least the baby didn’t die”, and it’s hilarious and touching at the same time. Ampersand from her iconic album Who Killed Amanda Palmer is followed by a cover of Paperback Writer with Whitney Moses (@whittles). Amanda takes her time talking about the songs, and the stories behind them – The Vegemite Song is the closest to a love song Neil Gaiman got from her so far.
The show takes a turn from the private to the political when Amanda asks poet Rachel McCrum (@KickingParis) on stage to recite The First Blast to Awaken Women Degenerate. Amanda has never been quiet about her political opinion, and now she’s taking an open stance against Donald Trump by calling on her American fans to vote for Hillary Clinton. She praises strong women and admits that she is proud of Rebecca Black for continuing to make music despite all the criticism.
Explaining the story behind Berlin, Amanda talks about stripping in her twenties – one of many jobs she’s had at the time. “I was the only stripper who didn’t have a shaved vagina. They thought I was pretty weird. I was also the only stripper who showed up on a bicycle”. The track is followed by a cover of Bat For Lashes’ Laura with Brendan Maclean (@macleanbrendan) and it is without doubt the highlight of the evening.
Trout Heart Replica is preceded by another story of her and Neil. When she just got to know him (while touring Australia and going through a nasty break-up) he took her and some friends to a trout farm where they witnessed their trouts getting clubbed for dinner. Despite having an awful time, watching a trout’s heart continue beating til after its death led to her writing a song, and to Neil writing a poem. It’s a pretty good song too.
With Half Jack, Amanda finishes her set with a Dresden Dolls song. It’s powerful, and clearly a fan favourite. To the delight of her audience, she reveals that there might be a Dresden Dolls reunion in the near future. When Amanda asks for her fans to support her on Patreon, she once again proves that she is not afraid to ask for help and support to continue making art. She thanks the fans who are already patrons, and promises to meet everyone after the show.
For the encore, the audience gets treated to Bigger On The Inside, one of her longest songs, and Ukulele Anthem which she wrote with the help of her crowd on twitter by asking for three-syllable words for something naughty you’re not allowed to bring to work. Amanda ends the night how she started it. It’s just her and her magical ukulele.
For more on Amanda Palmer check out her website.