Amanda Palmer Two NYC shows
Review by Karen Hester
June 3, 2009 – Housing Works fundraiser
June 5, 2009 – The Highline Ballroom
At the Housing Works fundraiser on Wednesday Amanda sung Astronaut, Perfect Fit, a ukulele song about her childhood home, I Google You and Tegan and Sara cover Dark Come Soon.
Amanda had written Perfect Fit during her time as a living statue, feeling a bit useless compared to most of the working world (“I can paint my face and stand very very still / its not very practical but it still pays the bills”) and serendipitously Neil Gaiman had an unpublished story about living statues, which he read. During question time Neil asked Amanda about being a statue and she talked about the obsessives who brought along gifts but never spoke to her. “Are there living statue collectors, like bird spotters, who travel around ticking them off?” Neil asked. He then took out his notebook and scribbled down that idea, perhaps for a short film.
They auctioned off the book of dead Amanda photos and Neil writings for $2000 (“naked pictures of me, naked pictures” chanted Amanda to possible buyers). She waved a naked photo in Neil’s face and he became flustered. Neil drew pink hearts on Amanda’s eyes on my poster. One of his Amanda stories repeats the line “I painted her eyes on myself”, about a man dining with his dead lover.
The Highline Ballroom show on Friday had a great and unusual set-list – no Coin-Operated Boy, Mrs O, or Half Jack.
Amanda started on the balcony with Bright Eye’s Lua on ukelele. She played a new song inspired by a trout’s heart which continued to beat for a few minutes out of its body (lyrics referred to her heart as a red six sided glass die cut in half, which was a bit much.)
A gorgeous gorgeous Thirty Whacks was played as her assistant Beth’s birthday request. The delicacy of the song was somewhat undercut by the lump of birthday cake stuck to Amanda’s chin. Beth’s birthday cake ended up in the audience where there was a cake fight, with two of the main participants standing next to me. They emitted a sour butter smell for the rest of the concert as their body heat melted the icing.
Cute Oasis and mad Yakity Yak with opening band The Lisps, a Leonard Cohen song with her dad (One of us cannot be wrong), and powerful Delilah with Emilyn Brodsky, who wore a disturbing flowered pink jumpsuit and sang the part of Delilah intensely, a delightful mixture of drunk on pink alcohol and naturally unhinged. I could have done without I Google You, a joke song of diminishing returns. She also played Missed Me, Gravity, Astronaut, Runs in the Family, Ampersand and Guitar Hero.
Amanda’s voice was great, but she’ll need surgery again if she doesn’t treat it better :(
The audience sucked, not just near me – elsewhere, Meth (fellow concert goer-aal) was considering knocking someone over. Will be really sad if she becomes someone you can’t see because of asshole fans.
Some other reviews: