September 15th was an amazing, inspirational night for me. I got to see one of my favorite musicians, Amanda Palmer, in concert at the Variety Playhouse. Like David Mack (see previous blog post), Amanda uses more than just lyrics to tell her story. She has concerts like no others I have ever seen – involving the audience in ways that effect each and every attendee.
Before the show, ticket-buyers were sent an email asking them for images. I sent in pictures of myself, of something I wanted to brag about, of my bedroom, my street. During the concert, these images (along with the images from the other audience members who participated) played on a screen behind the band. It was amazing to see myself on that screen, set to lyrics that explained what was going on. (For example, the Bedroom Song was played while everyone saw pictures of their rooms.)
The most heart-wrenching and moving part of the concert was the “In my Room” box. Before the show, a box was placed out front with paper and the note “Write down the saddest thing that happened in your room.” I wrote down my saddest thing, which happened to be a secret. My mother wrote hers as well. Between songs, Amanda read the stories from the box. When she read mine, my mother looked at me and knew it was mine. She hugged me and I hugged her, and it was a moment I will always cherish. I felt close to everyone in that audience that night. Amanda united us.
After the show, the band did autographs. I purchased the vinyl of their new album and got a big hug (and kiss on the cheek) from Amanda herself. She was warm and sweet – open-minded and open-hearted.
Amanda Palmer and her band, The Grand Theft Orchestra, managed to make their concert more than just entertainment. They touched the audience, made them feel. People laughed, sang along with their favorite songs, and cried.
For more information on Amanda Palmer, visit her website. She has several of her albums available for (FREE!) download.