Nathan (vovat) wrote,

  • Music:

Amanda, you're telling me a fairy tale

I went to see Amanda Palmer at the TLA (or whatever it's called now) yesterday (actually two days ago by now, but I don't feel like updating any other references to time). I'd actually gotten an e-mail a little while ago that said I was a second place winner in a contest, and I was allowed to attend the soundcheck and meet-and-greet prior to the show. I don't win very much, so this was a cool surprise, and I figured there must have been a lot of winners. As it turned out, though, there was only one group of three people besides me, so I guess I was actually lucky for once. That's not really the true beginning of the story, though. I had already driven into Philadelphia to work, and parked near the venue, only to find that I had forgotten my ticket. So I had to drive back home to get it, and that wasn't a great distance, but it meant I had to pay twice as much for the garage as I otherwise would have. It turned out to be worth it, though. I got to the venue when Amanda was playing "Runs in the Family" at soundcheck, and I didn't get to talk to her for long, but she was very friendly, and posed for pictures with me. I stuck around for the opening bands' soundchecks, and then bought an overpriced but nonetheless tasty slice of pizza at a place across the street. After that, I went to Starbucks, where I always feel a bit out of place, as if they're going to sense that I'm a non-coffee-drinker. I know they have things other than coffee, but it's always a little weird going into a place that specializes in one sort of item and not getting that, like the time I had a hamburger at a Mexican restaurant. Still, the caramel apple cider is good, and where else in the city can I sit and wait indoors for an hour? When I came in, they were playing Mozart's Horn Concerto No. 4, and I couldn't help but think of the lyrics that Flanders and Swann wrote for the third movement, just like how I can't hear "King of Pain" without thinking, "There's a sale on our gabardine suits today."

Anyway, the concert started around 8:30, the first act being a duo called Vermillion Lies, whom I quite liked. They kind of reminded me of the Ditty Bops, but with more of a prop-heavy comical bent. Also, they're sisters, rather than a couple. I picked up one of their albums after the show, but I haven't had the chance to listen to it yet. Next in line to play were the Builders and the Butchers, whose music was forgettable, but not bad. Really, as far as opening acts go, this was one of the better shows I've attended. I didn't appreciate the long wait between the second opener and Amanda's set, though. I probably should have gotten a seat on the balcony when I had the chance, but I decided to stand near the stage, and ended up regretting it. Oh, well. I did get a good view, although I was somewhat off to the side.

Amanda's set was largely comprised of stuff from her solo album, but she also did a few Dresden Dolls songs, including "Bad Habit," "Mrs. O," "Coin-Operated Boy," "Half Jack," and "Girl Anachronism." She was accompanied on some numbers by the Danger Ensemble, a group of dancers and performers from Australia. Amanda seemed to be in a good mood, and joked a lot with the audience. At one point, she covered "Livin' on a Prayer," and pointed out something that I've also wondered about, which is why Bon Jovi says that "it doesn't really matter if we make it or not," but then later says, "We'll make it, I swear." She answered some questions posed by audience members (I really should have submitted a question, but I couldn't think of one), and ended the set by playing two songs on the ukelele. The first was one she wrote herself, and the second a cover of Radiohead's "Creep," with Vermillion Lies on backing vocals. After the show, I stuck around to get my T-shirt signed by Amanda, who remembered me from earlier. And that's pretty much it, but bethje and I are going to see Rasputina tonight (in fact, we'll be done seeing them by the time I actually have this posted), so expect another concert review soon.
Tags: concerts, food, music

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