That’s right. Amanda Fucking Palmer did a sold-out show in Berlin. It was just her, a piano, a ukulele and 1400 rapt fans. Oh, and warm-up appearances of Scotty the Blue Bunny and Alfred Ladylike from Donut Heart who twirled a light-up baton, wiggled his fluffy bunny tail, and sang a song about being a professional time-waster, respectively.
Three and a half hours of music, old and new, raw and polished, dark and light. Some of the songs in German, from Heintje to Kurt Weill. That’s a feat in itself. A few glasses of red wine on stage for good measure, a bunch of stories to go with the songs – and once or twice, it was more than lovely. It got more intense, more intimate, because in some precious moments, Amanda managed to call up the famed, infamous magic of real connection. Intimacy isn’t easy in a sold-out venue this big, but at least for me, there were those moments where she spoke directly to me, touched a nerve, made me shed a tear or two. Most notably, and not surprisingly, they were “A Mother’s Confession” (a song about all the little shortcomings you feel crushed under as a new parent, like watching your baby fall off the changing table when you were sure he couldn’t roll over yet – but, as the chorus of that beautiful piece goes: At least the baby didn’t die) and “Bigger on the Inside” (a song written in the face of internet hate and just the feeling of the world being tragically shitty bearing down on you – but, good news: We’re all bigger on the inside, our hearts can take a lot and still go on beating and loving).
In short, it was a lovely night.
I was expecting to be pulled in and wrung out even more than that though, merely judging by the fact that sometimes even watching a webcasted show (I recommend the City Winery one for good measure! There are some bits on YouTube) or listening to her cover Bowie’s “Ashes to Ashes” can make me cry for real. Maybe a smaller gathering would have done the trick, but on the other hand it’s great that so many people wanted to see her, so she had to opt for at least this size. As it is, and as I said above, it was a lovely night. I would have liked to stay for a hug, but the line was so long and the next morning so near that I skipped that and went home. Still, I’d be back any time I got the chance.
Join the Patreon!
If you want to be there next time, too, either join the Patreon (The what? See it as an ongoing kickstarter, crowdfunding every time “your” artist makes a thing, and becoming part of a community of patrons, enabling the artist to do what they want, not what a record company thinks they should do) or get on the mailing list. Because Amanda said she’s going to be back. Maybe with her band The Dresden Dolls, maybe to make a Brecht/Weill record in Berlin. Maybe maybe.