Amanda Palmer makes friends at State Theatre
Those who know Amanda Palmer from her punky cabaret band, the Dresden Dolls, knew that the State Theatre would be packed full of young artists dressed in eclectic outfits with ukuleles and "Free Hugs" signs.
Hearing Palmer on a cd can be powerful, but seeing her open with the piano-pounding Astronaut (A Short History of Nearly Nothing) and move into beloved Dresden Dolls' songs like Coin-Operated Boy qualifies as a memorable experience.
After the lights went down, Palmer came out carrying a ukulele that an audience member gave her and was joined by the members of the opening band, Vermillion Lies (a band known for the use of odd items such as typewriters in their songs) for a cover of Radiohead's Creep as she roamed around the venue.
A big part of Palmer's stage show is her personality, though. It's not often you see a singer take a break from a show to smooth out arguments in the audience or to do a question-and-answer session in the middle of the show.
Taking advantage of technology, Palmer used Twitter to take requests from the audience, including an improvised Hotel California, which was sung completely by the audience. (Near the end of the show, she gave a number for people to text so they could get on her mailing list. She's trying to keep people informed of shows and events because she's looking to change labels.)
With her stage presence and personable appeal, seeing Palmer in concert leaves you with the distinct feeling that not only did you see an amazing concert, but you also made a new friend.
--Leigh Armstrong, Times Staff Writer
[Times photo, Leigh Armstrong]