24th September 2019
Amanda Palmer - “There Will Be No Intermission” Tour 2019
While I knew that it would become an extraordinary evening as I saw AMANDA PALMER once live at Wave-Gotik-Treffen as “Midnight Special Act” and she totally blew me away, I had no idea how intense this evening would become. I literally laughed, felt the strongest goose bumps and suddenly cried. Like many people did on this evening at Laeiszhalle in Hamburg.
AMANDA PALMER is widely also known from her former band THE DRESDEN DOLLS that was founded in 2000, released their debut album ‘The Dresden Dolls’ and a live album called ‘A is for Accident’ in 2004. THE last album of THE DRESDEN DOLLS ‘No, Virginia…’ was released in 2008. AMANDA PALMER herself went on as solo singer and performer. With ‘There Will Be No Intermission’ she released her 5th full-lengths album, additionally there are many different collaborations. AMANDA PALMER is not “only” known as exceptional musician and artist, but also as very strong activist who uses her popularity and community to spread the ideas of feminism, environment or anti-fascist views and encourages people to fight against all the discriminating subjects and things happening in the world. https://nointermission.amandapalmer.net / https://www.patreon.com/amandapalmer
Music & Performance
I don’t even know where to start as this evening was so special, emotionally challenging. Let’s try from the start. First we heard some music being played from the speakers, but then more or less “suddenly” the music, to be exact some ukulele tunes reached out from behind of the majestic concert hall that the concert took place today. Amanda came in through one of the back doors and started playing a song on her ukulele and singing to it while walking though the hall, also in between the seat rows. At one moment she just sat down next to someone in the audience while she kept playing and singing. Something special was in the air.
The atmosphere immediately became emotionally loaded, the eyes were sparkling, it you could almost touch the excitement in the air. After the first song, she went up on stage to the grand piano standing in the centre of the stage, in front of the breath-taking organ that was filling the whole wall behind the stage. Amanda later mentioned that she would have loved to play it as well and seemed at least impressed by the view.
The next OVER three hours, without breaks, guest acts or anything like this, were filled with music, stories, laughter, tears, political discussions and most intimate things that a person could tell another one. Amanda rocked the piano with sad, dramatic and also dramatic but happily sounding songs. Just her and the grand. So minimalistic, yet she did not have any issues to fill the huge and majestic hall with her voice and the music of the grand or the small ukulele. It’s hard to tell how much of the time she talked and told her stories. Impressive that Amanda also took part in many of the demonstrations or for example the huge climate strike on 20th September while touring, as she told and also showed on social media encouraging her fans and followers to do so as well. While there was so much to tell about that I could almost fill a book with it, here are my most favourite moments on that evening.
The first one was when she sat down to the grand piano, started playing and we immediately recognised the melody of the anti-fascist song by German Punk Rock legends DIE ÄRZTE ‘Schrei nach Liebe’. I hardly can describe how much that song means to me in the original version, it’s probably one of the best anti-fascist songs ever written. And then Amanda started singing, of course in German. In perfect German. The storm of enthusiasm out from the audience was judge. Just in that moment I felt all the shivers crawling under my skin and thought that this was one of the most intense I’ve ever experienced at a concert. And of course, the powerful “Arschloch” (German for “asshole”) at the end had a choir from the audience. Touching moment, full of sorrow about the things changing, but also a lot of power and hope.
Another moment that surprisingly brought me to tears was when Amanda was telling about her personal experiences with abortion first and then a miscarriage of a child that she wanted to receive. When she got the message that the baby inside her body is not alive anymore, it was just a very few days from Christmas. As the situation was hard and overwhelming she booked a getaway somewhere in a hotel, mountains, as I hopefully recall it right. She also was about to have a massage there, but as she forgot, the massage was booked as one for a pregnant woman. The woman there welcomed her nicely and said that she was looking forward to give her and her unborn that massage. Oh well, what a weird situation.
Amanda recalled that she was struggling what to do as she didn’t want to burden that woman, as it was Christmas, but of course it also felt wrong to not to tell the truth. So she told her about the miscarriage and then that woman answered “I hope that you don’t get me wrong. I am so glad you said that, because I had a miscarriage myself just a few days ago”. It’s difficult to describe that all again, but the moment she described the reaction of that woman, tears shot into my eyes. And that totally surprised myself at that moment. Another thing Amanda spoke a lot about, was, that so many people experience so many hard, tragic things, that are difficult to deal with, but almost no one seems to talk open about it. And how revealing it might be, to do so and speak up.
The evening with AMANDA PALMER let the brain work a lot afterwards and think about so many things. It was far away from a concert night as you would expect it, more of an extremely personal evening with someone who was not afraid to speak about all the critical things, personal failures and struggles, but also beautiful moments. The songs that she performed were all so strong. She managed to speak about so many things that we need to fight for (or against), but the most impressive thing was, that gave her strength and look forward to the people in the audience. I saw people hug each other, sing along and really, I saw people cry.
At the end of the gig, AMANDA PALMER once more mentioned her Patreon page where you can support her work and get in touch with her and the community and also, that probably next year, she will be back again with THE DRESDEN DOLLS - an announcement that led to a loud and enthusiastic applause. A touching night that you shouldn’t miss, if you get the chance. AMANDA PALMER impressed me as a strong, extremely inspiring and real woman that should be a role model for all of us when it comes to standing up for our values and things we care for.
Total: 9.5 / 10
All Pictures by Nastja Iz