Gentle Reader, today we’re revisiting my most popular post of all time: Post the hundredth: In Which We See Amanda Palmer’s Tits (NSFW?). It was a very exciting evening, and I’m thrilled to reprise this post.
When Amanda Palmer left her band, the Dresden Dolls, and her record label a few years ago, she struck out on her own. Yes, she made a tidy sum from her solo album, Who Killed Amanda Palmer, but we’re not really talking rock-star money. She married Neil Gaiman at one point, and then got a lot of flack for doing a kickstarter to help fund her new band, the Grand Theft Orchestra. Yes, Neil donated heavily to the fund-raiser, but she didn’t want to rely on her husband’s money for it. She raised over one million dollars, produced an album, and the band went on to tour the world.
I’m more than a trifle obsessed with Miss Palmer. When I found out that she was coming to Seattle, I actually swooned. There are not many musicians – or, indeed, famous people – who cause such a reaction from me. I bought my ticket within minutes of them going on sale – thank you, Twitter – and would not shut up about the amazing, wonderful concert I would be attending for the next two months. I got the new album, and listened to nothing else. Everyone in the house was excited for me to go to the concert, because it meant that I would stop talking about the damned concert. It was a magical time.
I arranged to stay with Uncle G and Auntie T, and made my way via bus to Seattle. The Stones wined and dined me, and helped me navigate to the Neptune Theatre. According to @amandapalmer, there were several vintage records – rare ones, at that – hidden about the theatre; who ever found them would get to go backstage. No such luck, but who needs it? I was doing my very best to overcome anxiety – I picked a corner, close to the bar, where I had a good view. I ordered up a Strongbow cider, and took the edge off my fear. I was about to see my favorite musician! I wasn’t going to allow anything to ruin it.
Lord, the woman can sing. As the evening goes on, she does dozens of costume changes on stage. During the song Bottomfeeder, she launches herself into the crowd, with a train that is fifty feet long, flowing over us all. It was an act of supreme trust; then, intermission.
I dashed outside for a cigarette, quick as I could – it was very loud, and crowded, and despite the fact that I was supremely uncomfortable, I was loving every second of this show. A pair of teenagers – a heavy goth-girl and her chain-smoking gay best friend were comparing cigarette holders with me; a middle-aged woman who seemed both out-of-place and very drunk joined us. As we chatted, it turns out that she is Jherek’s aunt, and if I meet her right there after the show, then I can go meet the band. Jherek Bischoff is a local boy, you see – his family’s from Shoreline. He is the bassist for the Grand Theft Orchestra, among other things.
At any rate, intermission over, I pick up a second drink and head straight to my corner. I am directly below one of the balconies; the band plays on. The second half is sadder, stranger, more entrancing and sad, serious. I am rapt. The set closes, but naturally there’s an encore. On this first encore, they did some of the songs from the Dresden Dolls – including Girl Anachronism, one of my favorites. A few more songs, and the encore is finished. Cue applause, of course.
Strangely, the applause continues, and suddenly everyone is looking directly at me. When they point the spot light in my direction, I begin to lose my calm; it was then that I saw the band leaning over the balcony’s edge directly above me.
Amanda Palmer made a moment of eye contact with me; she registered my surprise, gave me a sympathetic smile and a wink, and the show went on. This time they played a few songs from the album that hadn’t made it into the stage show, such as Massachusetts Avenue. More applause, and after they’re done, people begin to leave the theatre. These people are fools.
The third encore was back on stage, and featured Jason Webley, who had been in the audience. They broke out some songs from the Evelyn, Evelyn days, and some of Jason’s work, like Icarus. Jason wandered off; there were fewer than twenty people left in the theatre. For our dedication, Amanda Palmer whipped off her bra, and rewarded us with these: