Amanda Palmer and Boston Pops!
[music | Mediæval Bæbes - Summerisle]
***Here be spoilers.*** If you didn't go to the Thursday night show, and are planning to go to the Friday show, I would urge you to read things only before the cut here.
Generic highlights and things I know:
-For this show, it's Screw You Ray, I'm going to hang out with Heinrich Steinweg for a while, it was a good plan.
-There will be video
-There will be audio
-I almost broke Sxip Shirey's arm as he got up from his table and spun right into me.
-Smarter people than me took lots of pictures, which I'll link to eventually. This is also the last straw for my "paying attention to the venue's camera policy" policy.
-I forgot that Zoe Keating is on New Record until I saw 50 string instruments backing this music and now I can't wait to hear New Record.
I have some form of concert Alzheimers disease, since I tend to say this a lot, but: This is, almost without question, our Favorite Show Evar. I think this one might hold onto that title for a while too, at least until DEVO.
For those of you who clicked anyway, here's the fun stuff. This is long and disorganized, I just wanted to kind of get out everything I know about this show. Feel free to chime in with stuff I should have said.
Show started with the same 4 movements from Holst's The Planets as the Natalie Merchant show last month. Keith Lockhart was giving the spiel at the beginning and saying "It was very difficult to find music to pair with Amanda's music". I could have finished that sentence "So we really didn't try; enjoy these 4 movements we're using for every EdgeFest show since none of you will notice anyway" :-)
The Amanda Palmer part began with Missed Me, and Amanda entering from one of the side doors in the middle of the hall, weaving her way around the audience with various members of the orchestra chasing her around and popping up in balconies. Note, she was standing by her mother and step father during the ...tell my mother... parts and it was funny. We were sitting on the other side of her mom.
Amanda was noticeably moved by the opportunity that she had with this show, and really pulled everything together perfectly.
Right near the beginning we got a great idea of how the rest of the show would go when she busted out I Cain't Say No from Oklahoma!, she had the audience going crazy and laughing, HARD, like, dorky hard, much of the night.
She played a wide array of Dolls songs, songs off her coming-soon solo record Who Killed Amanda Palmer, and fun caberet/showtunes type stuff. And a Ben Folds cover (Brick) to give props to him both for producing her solo record and for having played with the Pops last year. You may remember the slight kerfuffle that made papers with that show.
She was able to make heavy use of the Brigade during the show, especially during Strength Through Music. I guess that's a normal part of that song in her sets, but the performers really made it an eerie experience.
Shortly after that she fucked with half the Pops with Coin Operated Boy, NO ONE can touch Brian in the 'guess the timing' game, if it was a game of Red-Light/Green-Light, half the strings (and Keith) would have lost hard. That song was a blast, she kicked Lockhart off his podium and took over conducting, so he decided to play her piano, until she noticed with a big WTF? He also got to smack her around to stop the record skipping. Natalie thinks he should absolutely have had a rubber ducky to squeak during the cleaned up trip to the tub.
Her encores were Don't Tell Mama from Cabaret(Gina Gershon? Why not), Wonderful World featuring Mr Brian Viglione doing his best gravely Satchmo voice, and Sing. I would be willing to bet you seventy dollars that Don't Tell Mama marks several firsts on the Symphony Hall stage. Probably the first simulated female masturbation , with a pickle no less. Definitely the first time said crotch-pickle gets chomped and spit out at the audience. That whole song was totally hilarious and I don't know how she kept it mostly together. When those 3 backup singers/caberet girls came out, I swear I thought "It's a trap", but it was only a pickle.
All told, this was a very emotional show, you could feel her nervous start, and the power of her songs + well, more than one other person was really moving. She made the most of the opportunity to use an orchestra to do her bidding, really brought them into the show. Aimee Mann and Natalie Merchant were much more timid with it. They sang their songs, with an orchestra backing them up. Amanda played the Orchestra itself, and it was just fun. We may try and score tickets for the Friday show, and if we do, many, many pictures will be taken. Good ones, I swear it. Clusterfuck Circus indeed.