Amanda F*ing Palmer

Yes, this is generally a food blog, but hey, we’re trying to expand a bit, flex our writing muscles.

And yes, this is generally a family-friendly blog, but hey, Amanda F*ing Palmer!

We found AFP on Neil Gaiman‘s blog. Gaiman is a big fan and wrote the text to go along with the photos in the upcoming Who Killed Amanda Palmer book.

Angela got me the ultimate Who Killed Amanda Palmer gift set for my birthday last year. Since then, I have her and Patric listening to both that album and to a lot of Dresden Dolls as well. As part of my ultimate gift set, I just downloaded the WKAP alternate tracks album. That will be hitting the family playlist right away.

Since they like the music too, it didn’t take much convincing to get Angela and Patric to agree to take a business trip last weekend and then to add on an extra hop over to Houston to see Amanda Palmer at House of Blues.

Clearly, I love the music. The studio albums from Amanda solo and with Brian Viglione as one half of Dresden Dolls are wonderful, but what I love the most is the live performances available for download from the Dresden Dolls site. Needless to say, I was thoroughly pumped to see her live.

Thanks to the House of Blues “pass the line” policy, we were able to go into the venue first because the three of us had dinner at House of Blues. HoB is in a nice new mall in downtown Houston — so new as to be empty of everything but the HoB. We had an hour to kill between the end of dinner and when the doors opened, so Angela and I just stood around and talked while Patric explored the empty mall.

One of our topics of conversation was the incredibly young crowd. The only person we could see who looked older than me was standing at the front of the line with her goth waif daughter and the daughter’s friend. Not having a lot of experience with HoB’s pass the line policy, we wondered how the teenaged mob would react to us going in before any of them. Fortunately, there was no fangirl riot.

Still, we should have known what was coming when we learned that the waif goth chick at the front of the line, the chick who had been there for hours to be at the front of the line, had the pass the line deal too but had arrived hours early because she is such a huge fan.

Now at this point of the story, I should mention something. I own an “I Killed Amanda Palmer” t-shirt. On the day before we left for Houston, I noticed that it was clean but wrinkled, so into the dryer it went. Halfway to Houston, I remembered that my t-shirt was still in the dryer. And that is how I came to be standing in line for an AFP concert with dozens of fans who were all dressed in black while I myself was wearing a short-sleeved blue buttondown, looking, apparently, not unlike a lost accountant.

When the doors finally opened, we headed straight for the stage. It was at this point that waif goth chick gave me an appraising look and asked, “are you guys big fans?”

We assured her that we were, and she admitted that she had wondered just why we were there. She then asked us what our favorite song was off AFP’s album. Angela answered “Ampersand.” I said “Astronaut.” I failed to mention that my most favoritest is the Dresden Dolls song “Sing.” Waif goth chick seemed to accept our AFP street cred and returned to talking to her friends.

The opening act was the stunning sister duo Vermillion Lies. Stunning. Brilliant. Funny. Beautiful. Immensely talented. Soon to be the feature of their very own blog entry.

Finally, though, it was time, and out came AFP. This woman is an amazing performer. This woman can rock the hell out of “My Favorite Things.” The other outstanding and unusual performance of the night was “Umbrella” played on the ukulele. It takes a lot of talent and courage to step in front of a crowd with just you, a mic, and a keyboard, but that’s all AFP needs. There’s no lip syncing or pre-recorded music here; this is the real deal. The entire show was amazing. AFP has a great rapport with the audience. If you ever get the chance to see her perform, do it.

This wasn’t Patric’s first concert (that honor was reserved for Robert Earl Keen), but this was the first one where he really fit in with the audience better than his parents. He’s had AFP on his playlist for almost as long as I have, and while you won’t catch him singing along in the car, he sang along with the crowd that night. His favorite song? “Astronaut”. That’s my boy.

So, if the show was so great, why did it take me over a week to finally blog about it? Well, after an evening of standing at the front of the stage singing along at the top of my lungs then driving ten hours home the next day, I came down with a nasty cold. I suppose this would make the moral of the story that forty-somethings should probably leave the rock and roll to the goth waifs of the world. Then again, if we did, it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting for the waifs without us.

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