As most of you know I am a huge Amanda Palmer fan. On September 14th she finally came to Vienna again for her current “There will be no intermission” tour. I don’t want to do a full review of her show – or better shows. But since it was a very emotional ride for me, I do want to write a little bit about it.
I said shows, because Amanda actually did two shows that day. The people from Open Piano for Refugees organized a free ninja gig with Amanda, to raise money for charity. Here’s how it works. They haul a full size piano (in Vienna they have a beautiful white one) in public space (in case of Vienna it was Karlsplatz) and everyone can play on it. The money that people donate, goes to charity. Sometimes they organize whole concerts and they were able to do this with Amanda. From what I heard, she was supposed to play for 20 minutes – however, it turned into a full 75 minutes show with piano, ukulele and some storytelling. Karlsplatz was packed with people and everything was really calm.
The atmosphere was amazing and it was the perfect start for an emotional ride. Amanda played some songs she had prepared and also took some wishes from the crowd. It was nice to be so close to my icon and feel the connection she had to the audience. I feel like it was also a good way, to connect her with an audience that might not have know her before that, or just wouldn’t usually attend any of her concerts. Here are some more impressions:
After the 75 minute show with the open piano, I was already emotionally exhausted, but I still had the three hour show in the evening ahead of me. I had read a lot about the show when she toured in the US and knew, that it would be very personal and tackle difficult topics.
I had a front row ticket because I had the luxury to buy them via my patreon membership about a week before the official release. When I got to my seat, someone from Amandas team was setting up her ukulele – RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. Yes you read that right and here’s a picture to proof it:
Amandas “wand of thunder” was set up right in front of me – which meant, that she would sit right in front of me when she was playing. Since it was already hooked up, I was really tempted to just pick it up and play some of my own songs for the audience in this beautiful venue:
But of course, I did not even dare touch the ukulele ;). So I just waited patiently for the show to start. Even though I knew that it would be an emotional ride, I had no idea what I got myself into.
Amanda talked about an almost rape at age 14, about her three abortions, about a miscarriage, about motherhood, the death of her best friend and relationships. I spent most of the three hours crying (as did the people right and left next to me, behind me and I’m guessing that the whole theatre with 2000 people was crying).
It took me a couple of days to actually process this show. It made me sad, happy and everything in between. I am glad that I went though and I am glad that there’s someone out there who is not afraid to talk about difficult topics in public. We need people like Amanda to stop stigma around certain topics and to start talking about them and see them for what they are: norman aspects of life, that affect almost everyone at some point in their lives.
By now you probably wonder about the ukulele – she did play the ukulele for one song: Bigger on the Inside. And yes, Amanda was sitting right in front of me:
If you have the chance to see the show (there’s some more coming up in Ireland, England and a tour in Australia and New Zealand) please do. It might be heavy topics, but you get some amazing storytelling underlined with great music.
After the show Amanda did a little meet-up with all of her Vienna Patrons. All of us took a picture together and I got a hug from her. What a perfect ending for this ride.