Amanda Palmer + Brendan Maclean + Mikelangelo @ Her Majesty’s Theatre 24/02/17 (Live Review)
An evening with Amanda Palmer was always going to be a special one, after all, it is Amanda (Fucking) Palmer we are talking about here.
Her Majesty’s Theatre was dimly lit with a single bright light over the microphone stand and a darker one over the piano. The anticipation lingering amongst the crowd was electric as we were wondering what was about to unfold. We were not let down for a second.
Main support Brendan Maclean instantly owned the stage as he belted through some original songs. It was my first time seeing Brendan live and I am instantly a massive fan. The ukulele received its first workout for the evening complimented by cheekiness, smiles and plenty of stage energy.
Amanda then introduces another dear friend, Mikelangelo (he is performing his own Fringe show just a few doors down in just half an hour too). With his sleeked hair and rockabilly looks, Mikelangelo takes to the stage and strums through songs on his starburst cladded acoustic guitar. To me, Mikelangelo’s sound would be best described as Nick Cave crossed with the legendary Leonard Cohen.
Next moment there were sounds of a ukulele playing and singing but no one was on the stage. People were looking everywhere and phone torchlights were flying about. At first many of us thought Amanda was sitting in the seats up front but we quickly realised she was standing on the balcony upstairs. What a way to further add mystery and the unexpected.
When Amanda graced the stage, she apologized to those who couldn’t see her during that last song and then kicked straight into what was a powerful ukulele session before raising a glass of wine seated at the piano and taking a sip.
One moment the keys were tenderly struck and the next they were pounded, always accompanied with the complete stage package of looks, smiles, angst and anticipation. Pure delight.
Amanda spoke about her life, career, Kickstarter, Patreon and her unique way of doing things enabling free flowing art without restriction. It is her free spirit I adore and aspire to, and it’s all in the art of asking (which I personally need to learn to do – at least I finally own the book). We are welcomed to join Patreon for more ongoing projects, why not check it out?
We were often treated to the back stories of the songs we were about to hear, this in turn made us listen and absorb the sounds as a whole package with a deeper sense of feeling and perspective. I learnt a few things that blew my mind and I encourage those who were not there to seek out a show asap. (I don’t want to spoil it for you).
Brendan joined Amanda on stage for a deep and mind blowing duet performance of Laura whilst casually stripping down, strangely it would have seemed odd if he didn’t. My arms are still covered in goose bumps and I think they will remain for some time yet.
Brendan and Amanda spoke about shitty keyboard warriors over the YouTube controversy his House of Air music clip received. In short, support artists, support each other, be nice, enjoy art and death threats are never ok.
Amanda announced she had been unwell for days backed up by the fact she had only taken a sip of wine and not consumed an entire bottle like normal. You would have never known if she didn’t say anything, I still couldn’t tell. This highlights the amazing complete package that is presented in Amanda Palmer.
There were talks of vaginas, dreams of babies falling from shelves, tears, love, fivefinger discounted chapstick, motherhood guilt and the evil death paste known as Vegemite. We were in stitches, we shed tears, we were all in it together and it was magical.
Closing with an unplugged encore of the ukulele anthem we left feeling high and with the need to go out and buy a ukulele, they are only $19.95 after all, off to the shops I must go… what a ride. Thank you.