- 25 Oct 19
Fusing story and song, Amanda Palmer was at her most vulnerable at Dublin's National Concert Hall last night.
Addressing her entranced audience, Amanda Palmer lightheartedly proclaimed, 'If you had just bought a ticket to see Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls not knowing what this is about, this might be the point in the show you're wondering 'Can I leave?' We were thirty minutes into the show, and had only heard two songs so far. That's because Palmer was spending time spinning us her life story, which touched on heavy topics like sexual assault, death, and mainly abortion. Fusing story with song, it made for one of the most interesting performances I've ever seen.
Palmer is an adept storyteller, and that shows as she gracefully relieved tension and sadness with elements of comedy and absurdity. The format of the show shouldn't have been a complete shock either. Palmer isn't just on tour for her new record There Will Be No Intermission, but also the record's companion book which was created over three years. There were certainly some points in the show that felt a bit melodramatic or self-indulgent, but Palmer's engaging storytelling ultimately triumphed.
Also, ironically enough, the There Will Be No Intermission tour did include an intermission. Just before which, Palmer welcomed to the stage representatives from Disabled Women Ireland and the Abortion Campaign. It was wonderful to see the groups have a chance to speak, especially since the venue did not permit them to set up their booths or disperse literature in the lobby.
Though Palmer's story was heartwrenching and told well, I found myself most captivated when she sat down at the piano and performed powerful songs from her new record like 'Machete' and 'Drowning in the Sound.' The tunes were arresting and her vocals were sweeping. It should also be noted Palmer perfomed 'Voicemail for Jill.' Palmer was slated to perform on Ireland's The Late Late Show, but when she announced she was planning to play the song, which prominently tackles abortion, her offer was rescinded. The song thus took on a new feeling of protest and urgency in the gorgeous concert hall.
Overall, this particular performance was better suited for Palmer's cult of diehard fans. She often times would even refer to the audience as 'her people,' and explained that amidst moments of career controversy she knew 'her people,' would stand by her. Unfortunately, I can't say I am one of 'her people.'
To gain better insight on the show, revisit Hot Press' Emily O' Callaghan's in-depth interview with Palmer on abortion, artistic epiphanies, and the Me Too movement.