Concert Review

Concert Report: Amanda Palmer

Normally, as Sweet Annie Rich, I’m known for handpicking sweet Americana tunes to play on Saturday mornings. The thing is, I have other musical interests too, and jump at the chance to see live acts that I know will be amazing.

Take, for instance, Amanda Palmer. I’ve been a fan of Ms. Palmer since I was a freshman here at NC State via The Dresden Dolls. The Dolls’ first two albums were powerful to me and great ways to help my transition from high school to college. When Amanda recorded a solo album, I was all over it. It’s just an added bonus that this album was produced by well-loved local Ben Folds.

I saw Amanda Palmer solo last March at the Arts Center in Carrboro. As an intense fan it was huge for me, even though she was completely alone and having to carry the weight of the show without the backing group she’d started the tour with. I could barely speak to her after the show, I was in such awe. This time around the atmosphere was electric and lively.

Nervous Cabaret was both the opening and backing band, and they injected the craziest energy you could imagine into the show. All I have to say is, if you weren’t at this concert last Friday night, you missed out.

Oh yeah, and I managed to snag a spot on the stage. Not in front of the stage. I was sitting on the edge of the stage. I’ve never been more excited in my young life.

Nervous Cabaret’s sound is so hard to describe, which might be what I loved about them. It’s rock, it’s blues, it’s eldritch and dancehall all at once. Frontman Elyas Khan has a voice that will send chills up your spine.

The night was also full of snark and jokes. I love it when musicians interact so much with one another and with their audience at the same time. This show had moments that can never be truly re-created even in fevered retelling.

One thing I love about Amanda’s live shows is that she throws all of her energy into what she’s doing. She goes from lady behind a piano to a wild force of nature.

At one point, she read from her book collaboration with Neil Gaiman, Who Killed Amanda Palmer? Even in this reading she kept the audience engaged and I don’t think there was a reaction that was off beat.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself that night. It was completely worth losing my voice as I screamed out the words to every song. It was worth getting next to no sleep just to stay after and get an autograph, a picture, and a little time to just talk to this artist whom I’ve never grown tired of.

Punk cabaret forever.