Amanda Palmer — aka Amanda “F’ing” Palmer, as she likes to be called — played to a near sold out crowd at the Civic Theatre this past Saturday. One half of Boston-based “Brechtian punk cabaret” duo, The Dresden Dolls, Palmer harnessed a dark and funky vocal style throughout her performance, demonstrating that the gothic cabaret stylings of the group carry over to her solo ventures as well. Palmer’s set consisted of a combination of her solo work, Dresden Dolls material and a few covers, as well.
A comical moment of the show arose when Palmer brought her longtime friend and midwife, Whitley Moses, out on stage to answer audience questions — which included one attendee’s wedding proposal. Together, Moses and Palmer delivered a humorous cover of Garfunkel and Oats’ “Pregnant Women are Smug,” as well as a duet of Dresden Dolls tune “Delilah,” which served as one ofthe most powerful moments of the evening.
Palmer, in the midst of her Barefoot and in the Kitchen tour — a tongue-in-cheek reference to her current pregnancy — read from her latest work, The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help, during her performance, demonstrating that she is just as strong of a storyteller as she is a musician and vocalist.
The excerpt Amanda read from her book was chosen at random from an audience member and, ironically, was one of the two instances in the book in which she mentions New Orleans, a story on her impressions of three local Kickstarter funds. (Palmer, herself, is familiar with crowdsourcing — a user of patreon.com, a crowdfunding platform that allows artists to obtain funding from patrons on a recurring basis or per artwork.) Following her reading, Palmer performed “The Thing About Things” that will be released as her next patreon offering.
With Palmer’s combination of piano, ukulele and vocal performances; her live reading and guest appearances (another of which was NOLA-based singer Zoe Boekbinder, who sang a few tracks from her ongoing project produced by Ani DiFranco), the evening was magical to say the least. View an extended gallery here.