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Last Friday, we saw Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra play at the Forum.

This was her rescheduled tour: she was originally going to come out in February, but rescheduled those shows so she could stay and support a friend through chemo.

This caused a mild panic attack on Wednesday night when I couldn't find the tickets in the drawer where we normally keep concert tickets. After searching through every drawer and filing cabinet in our flat, I eventually remembered that the tickets had been emailed to us, and I could just print them out.

By coincidence, the rescheduled date was the day before A.'s birthday, so we made a date night of it, with dinner at Bangkok Rain in Rathdowne Street, a tram into town, a breif stop at the City Square to look at the Melbourne Fringe Digital Gardens display, where people were testing the Occulus Rift. Then we joined the queue that ran up Hosier Lane.

Die Roten Punkte were the main support act, followed by Jherek Bischoff, physical comedian Sabrina D'Angelo, and Brendan McClean.

And then: Amanda Palmer.

They started with a voice-over introduction from local cabaret artist Meow Meow, and the instrumental Grand Theft Intermission. Then Palmer hit the stage for 'Do It With a Rock Star', and things got loud. Her second song was a cover of Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit', sung while surfing the moshpit.

It was that sort of concert.

I've seen Amanda Palmer play about ten times now. Each show has it's own mood. This one felt more like a rock concert party.The band played loud and had a blast. The big rock sound was helped by their booming new drummer, Thor Harris, who looked like a caveman in nothing but tiger-striped shorts and his trademark mullet.

Of course, it wouldn't be an Amanda Palmer show without the quieter piano or ukulele songs. And it wouldn't be an Amanda Palmer show without some weird audience interaction, in this case one girl saying she'd lost her bag in the mosh pit, and another saying she'd lost her mum. Both were reunited.

And it's definitely not an Amanda Palmer show without guests.

Meow Meow duetted with Palmer on a screeching, jagged version of 'Missed Me'. Kate Miller-Heidke and Missy Higgins sang originals. And Brendan McClean duetted on a raw and passionate cover of Bat for Lashes' 'Laura'. That song has been haunting me ever since.

There were lots of covers: Nirvana, Bat for Lashes, Pulp's 'Common People'. I suppose that goes with the giant party vibe.

They ended with everyone on stage for a cover of 'Sweet Dreams', before finishing with 'Leeds United'.

Afterwards, A. asked me what my favourite song was, and I mumbled and digressed. I'm not good at ranking my pleasures. The whole concert was great. But standouts for me would have to be 'Missed Me' with Meow Meow, 'From St Kilda to Fitzroy', and that Bat for Lashes cover, because I just can't get that song out of my head now.

I don't think this was the best Amanda Palmer concert I've been to. It lacked the visceral ferocity of her Dresden Dolls concerts, and it didn't make me cry the way her version of 'Have to Drive' did back in 2010.

But it was great show.

Oh, and during the set she made an announcement. She'll be staying in Melbourne early next year to write a book. Her husband Neil Gaiman will apparently by joining her too.


sharplittleteeth: (Default)
Amanda Palmer will be doing a Q&A tomorrow lunchtime for the Melbourne Uni Queer Dept. Everyone is welcome.

Details are here:

It's only been organised at the last minute, so please feel free to help promote this.

(I can't go, unfortunately. I'll be stuck in a meeting then.)
sharplittleteeth: (Default)
I started writing this last night, after we got back from the Amanda Palmer gig. It's long. Very long. And a bit rambling. My apologies. The actual review bit is at the end, if you want to skip over the blow-by-blow descriptions.


Friday night we saw Jason Webley's gig at the Evelyn Hotel. Jason Webley is a sort of gypsy/gutterpunk/Tom Waits accordion player. He's supported Amanda Palmer on previous tours, which is where I suspect most of his fan base in Australia comes from.

Supporting him was Evelyn Evelyn, a pair of Edward Gorey-esque conjoined twins who were "discovered" by Webley and Palmer. And yes, by "discovered" I mean they're characters played by Palmer and Webley.

The chance for Evelyn Evelyn to play at a venue called The Evelyn was too good for them to pass up. Even if it confused the hell out of the poor sales assistant at Polyester when I tried to buy our tickets.






Look, we saw Amanda Palmer play the Forum exactly a year ago. And that was one of the best concerts of my life. Intimate. Shambolic. Joyous. Utter magic. Irrepeatable magic, too, because it came just after the SLAM rally, and she had Paul Kelly and Mick Harvey join her on stage. There was just so much love flowing on the stage, and between the stage and the audience.

Last night was a great performance from a great performer. And if I sound hesitant about it, it's only because you can't catch lightning twice.

It was a great show. She had the entire audience on their feet, all the way to the back rows of the Forum. And part of what makes her shows so great is the rag-tag family of musicians she surrounds herself with. Mikelangelo joked she had so many guests on stage it was like the Johnny Cash Show.

And that rag-tag family extends out into the audience, too. Palmer was booked to play Christchurch the day the earthquake hit. She sent go-go dancers out into the crowd with donation buckets for the New Zealand Red Cross.

You can't catch lightning twice. But Amanda Palmer can throw a party. It might start out a bit maudlin. But it ends in strippers wearing koala suits, and every one cheering like mad.

I'm glad we went. I also glad went to the Evelyn the night before, and caught something more intimate.
sharplittleteeth: (Default)
We saw Amanda Palmer at the Forum last night.

Look. She's not to everyone's taste. That's fine. Even I feel a bit uncomfortable about some of her antics, her nude twittering, her TMI blogs, her engagement to Neil Gaiman which is perfectly normal but still somehow feels like fanservice. People are free to love or loathe her. That's cool.

The haters are just plain wrong, though. ; )

Because when you see her play on stage, beneath the Forum's proscenium arch... it's like watching a cheetah run. This is what she does. And she does it magnificently.

Long... )


Feb. 27th, 2010 12:16 am
sharplittleteeth: (Default)
Amanda Palmer. At the Forum. Playing a Nick Cave cover. With Paul Kelly and Mick Harvey.

For a Bostonian, that's pretty fucking Melbourne.


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