Amanda Fucking Palmer Was an Uplifting Mother-to-Be at Granada Theater Last Night

Amanda Palmer drew heavily on audience requests Wednesday in Dallas
Amanda Palmer drew heavily on audience requests Wednesday in Dallas
Maddox Price

Amanda Fucking Palmer Granada Theater, Dallas Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Amanda Palmer -- or, to give her proper billing, Amanda Fucking Palmer -- is about to be a mother. When she played Granda Theater last night, it was a special occasion not only because it was her first Dallas appearance in five years, her last visit being with the Dresden Dolls in 2010. The sold-out show was also the last stop on the U.S. leg of her tour before Palmer "disappears into motherhood," and it turned into something of an emotional event. There was lots of ukulele wielding, lots of positivity and there were lots of reminders that Palmer is a-fucking-mazing.

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As the barefoot mother-to-be took a seat at her keyboards, her dress became snagged on her stool, resulting in some awkward repositioning and audible groans, followed immediately by laughter from both the singer and the audience. Having gotten comfortable, Palmer jumped right into her set with "Astronaut," "Ampersand" and a Momus cover, "I Want You, But I Don't Need You."

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Watching this artist in her element, slamming the keys and emanating a level of emotion that's rare beyond an artist's first performances, is something of a religious experience.

The evening was apparently bittersweet for Palmer, who acknowledged the end of the tour and reminisced about how, prior to her pregnancy, she would conduct her final performances. According to Palmer, for the last show of a tour, she usually plays for four hours or so. However, she sighed, "Only problem here being: All I want to do is just take a nap. Maybe we can all just nap together."

Palmer then switched things up a bit and announced that she would be taking requests -- as long as the audience wasn't yelling over one another. It was the most amazing sight to see: A completely sold-out, packed venue, almost silent, with fans enthusiastically waving their hands in hopes of being selected to request a song.

After taking requests from fans, including one who came equipped with a stuffed sloth, Palmer glanced down at the selections and chuckled, "You guys picked a bunch of bummers. It's like: downer, downer, downer, funny song about food, downer." Diving into the requests, Palmer sang "The Bed Song," a song she describes as a "mid-tempo downer" but it is in fact the saddest song she's ever written. That was followed by "Vegemite (The Black Death)", a hilarious ode to everyone's favorite veggie sludge, and "Judy Blume."

Opting for another cover, Palmer introduced her next track, "Glacier," by educating fans on the song's writer, John Grant. Former frontman of the Czars, Grant is an openly gay, HIV-positive solo-musician who captured Palmer's attention some time back during a performance in Australia. Currently, Grant is in Dallas, working on a new project with Grammy award-winning producer John Congleton. Palmer is so excited about Grant's work that she said she plans to head into the studio before leaving Dallas to lay down some guest vocals for his new project.

Palmer trucked through the requests, hitting favorites such as "Runs in the Family," "Map of Tasmania" and "In My Mind." And then, as if she sensed the mood was getting a bit too heavy, Palmer paused again to discuss what she thought about getting older. She posed a question to the audience regarding how she would be as a 70-year-old musician, still performing the same songs. Would she be more of a Patti Smith or a Madonna?

While her fans shouted encouraging thoughts from the crowd, Palmer joked, "I want to get drunk with Madonna. I think that's what's wrong with Madonna: she doesn't get drunk enough." She went on to suggest another of her famous crowd-funded campaigns to entice Madge into agreeing to a drunken evening with Amanda Fucking Palmer.

Next, Palmer asked the crowd if they would like her to read from her new book, The Art of Asking, to which, of course, they responded affirmatively. She then declared that she would need the assistance of an especially "serendipitous" individual to come to the stage and perform what she called a "bible dip," or the act of randomly selecting a page from the book. An audience-member obliged, and "in keeping with our theme," selected one of the most "devastatingly sad" excerpts.

Following the reading, Palmer paused, looked into the sea of fans, smiled and announced, "And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why we have rock-n-roll!" before playing "The Thing About Things."

Towards the end of the evening, Palmer gave away a painting done by Courtney Priest, a fan at her Birmingham, Alabama show, to the person who asked her the best question. After reading several hilarious questions including, "Will your baby's middle name be 'fucking' too?" Palmer then opened the next question and burst into laughter and announced the champion. The winning question was: "Why must we suffer?"

Yet the main take away from the night was ultimately Palmer's all-around positivity. She's humbled and encourages others' creativity. She even spent a good portion of her show encouraging the audience to listen to new musicians and the importance of Record Store Day. It's rare these days to find an artist with her level of notoriety, who is also so incredibly down-to-earth and interested in making the world a better place. And we fucking love her for it.

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Granada Theater

3524 Greenville Ave.
Dallas, TX 75206

214-824-9933

www.granadatheater.com


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