Review: Amanda Palmer

There is something so unabashedly genuine about Amanda Palmer that makes seeing her perform an absolute treasure.

Palmer captured the hearts of her Australian audience once again at Her Majesty’s Theatre last Friday night in a stunningly intimate two-and-a-half-hour show. The singer-songwriter opened her set straddling the balcony of the theatre with ukulele in hand before stopping mid-song to remark how dark it was, instantaneously prompting a wave of phone lights to rise above the audience — an apt indicator of the audience’s love for her.

After making her way onstage, Palmer took a seat at the piano and launched into a diverse set of songs from her Dresden Dolls era, earlier solo material, covers and new repertoire. Her set was peppered with personal observations on the progression of her musical career, motherhood, marriage and friendships, which offered an extraordinary and frank insight into the workings of her mind.

Despite taking a brief hiatus from writing music to focus on her personal life, it is evident to see that Palmer’s passion for her craft has not wavered in the slightest. Her demeanor behind the piano was relaxed and confident as she fiercely slammed on the keys while bellowing her quintessential high notes a la punk cabaret in contrast with poignant falsetto soaring over tinkling piano lines with ease. Particular highlights included the heartrending Bed Song that had the audience holding their breath in silence (save for the sound of sniffling), and an emotional rendition of Bat For Lashes’ Laura with Australian wunderkind and support act Brendan Maclean.

Palmer possesses the unique ability to walk upon the stage and become entirely vulnerable, fostering an unprecedented sense of openness and community within her audience. Paired with her charm and humility, seeing Palmer live is a remarkable experience for fans and first-time punters alike.

Amanda Palmer performed at Her Majesty’s Theatre as a part of Adelaide Fringe Festival on Friday, February 24.

Header image: Photo by Kyle Cassidy

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