Dec 15
Amanda Palmer – Harlow’s Posted by Laura Iriarte

December 20, 2008 – I have so much to say-to share-where to begin? (Not to mention I need to remember to only space once after sentences as @markdavidson taught me. Old habits die hard!)

Okay, I am a FAN-in capital letters-of Amanda Palmer’s and The Dresden Dolls (of which she is also a part of). I wasn’t a FAN until after I saw them live, then I was. Since then I haven’t missed a live show in Northern California.

On August 6, 2008 Amanda Palmer played at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. Amanda started a new segment she called, “Ask Amanda” and fans were encouraged to write questions on slips of paper, and she would take a break in the show to answer a few questions. I asked Amanda, “Will you join Twitter.com?” Amanda said, she didn’t know what Twitter was, but that she would probably look at it. Nothing happened for awhile, then one day she was there! November 28th! And she was planning a party on the internet! She’s done two “Party On the Internet” events, the last one was from author/blogger Neil Gaiman’s home! On December 11, Amanda held a twitter trivia contest for her fans. Amanda asked Amanda Palmer/Dresden Dolls trivia questions, and those with the fastest fingers and right answer won prizes! She hasn’t quite got the hang of micro-blogging, but I love what she is doing!

I feel like a proud mother! I, the Social Media Butterfly, an advocate for Social Media, feel like I’ve given birth to a Social Media Sensation! Amanda has embraced Social Media and taken it in brand new directions – just like she always does! I can’t wait to see what she does next!

This brings me to last night. Friday night/Saturday morning/afternoon I spent in the hospital emergency ward in excruciating pain with a kidney stone. Saturday night I went to see Amanda Palmer play. Why? Because she’s worth it, because I’m that big of a fan. That’s why.

Last night Amanda Palmer played at Harlow’s in Sacramento, California. I attended the show with my 19 year old daughter, Alexandra. Amanda has enlisted The Danger Ensemble, a performing group from Australia to perform with her, they act out and enhance her songs, it’s almost like a magical musical play! The show opened with Builders and Butchers, a band from Portland, Oregon. Builders and Butchers includes 5 guys and many instruments. The ended their set by giving out little instruments to the audience to play along with their last song. Alexandra loved them and I purchased their CD for her. Next was Zoe Keating. Zoe is the most amazing cellist. Zoe’s music is extremely complex and unique. She plays a few bars, then with a tap of her toe she loops that music. Once again she plays a few bars, taps her toe, and loops it again on top of the first! Then she plays over and under them both creating a room full of beautiful magical cello melodies. Zoe played solo, then later returned and played with Amanda on many of her songs, she also is a featured performer on Amanda’s new CD, “Who Killed Amanda Palmer”. Another performer who added much to the show was a violin player, who I believe was part of The Danger Ensemble as well.

At last we came to the main event-what we all had been waiting for-Amanda Palmer. A member of the Danger Ensemble speaks to us and tells us that he’s sorry but Amanda Palmer is dead and won’t be performing tonight, instead we will be having a wake for her. Amanda walks through the crowd covered in lace to the stage and is lifted up to the stage by the Danger Ensemble members. The crowd erupts and Amanda plays, sings, emotes, drinks red wine, talks, charms her way through the night. No one wants it to end and we chant until an encore is performed.

No one is like Amanda Palmer. No one. Amanda loves her fans, and they love her. She gives herself to us. She blogs-amazing blogs-full of humor and insights into her life and sometimes just life in general! She jots off notes to fans letting us know about new tour dates or videos posted. She signs them – AFP – which stands for Amanda F#$king Palmer. During her show Amanda talks candidly, during last night’s Ask Amanda segment when asked if she perfers pads or tampons, she shared she uses a sponge first, then non-applicator tampons to finish. We also learned that her current favorite CD is Teagan and Sara. After the show Amanda takes the time to meet and greet her fans, to sign anything you want, plus take pics with fans. Who does this?! Amanda F&%king Palmer that’s who.

Yes, we stayed after, and I was thrilled to meet Zoe Keating! And, yes, as always, to talk with Amanda Palmer!

If you get the chance to see Amanda Palmer, The Dresden Dolls, or Zoe Keating – take that chance!

To see more pictures and a few amazing videos, please see my flickr photostream here.

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3 Responses

  1. Tiffany Arscott Says:

    Laura, it was so good to meet you on Saturday night. I cannot believe you were there after the kidney stone! I loved reading your blog, and enjoyed seeing the photographs on Flickr (some amazing shots to go along with an amazing show!). Mine are up as well, feel free to check out my Myspace for the “Who Killed Amanda Palmer?” photo gallery. Hopefully all is well in your world. Perhaps we shall cross paths again! See you at the next Amanda Palmer show?

  2. mel Says:

    there’s only two sleeps until i see AFP play at the opera house in Sydney. *Squeee.
    Perfect setting for an amazing act. I’m so excited.
    I’m really keen on getting a pic with her. Do you know if she does meet and greets before the show? Or is only after? Is it best to wait at the stage door?
    I really would love to get a chance to say thank you to her, but dont want to verge on the freaky stalker fan mode.
    Help!!!

  3. Laura Iriarte Says:

    Hi Mel, Amanda makes time after every performance to take pics with and sign things for fans, there will be a long line so plan out what u want to say and do beforehand so you can make it quick. I’ve never seen her do it *before* a show. Another way to get to spend quality time with her is to volunteer to feed her and the rest of the crew, contact them and let them know, they will tell u when and where, bring something they can share. She is also up for staying at fans houses to keep tour expenses low, and you can even do something as a brigade member at the show or volunteer to help to get to spend more quality time with amanda! :) lots of options! hope this helps! She’s honestly the most accessible artist ive ever met! :)