herzverstreut_bu: (Misc - amanda - stage lights)
[personal profile] herzverstreut_bu
The show last night was amazing. Too many support acts, not playing two off my favourite songs off the album ("Runs in the Family" and "Oasis") and the kind of lame Berlin audience* didn't even matter.

We got there kind of early, because I wasn't sure when doors would be, but it wouldn't have made much of a difference. The venue was TINY, and I probably could have been right at the back and would have seen everything. As things were, we ended up two people back, i.e. maybe one meter from the stage, and right in the middle. Which was convenient when Amanda came on stage and when the Danger Ensemble did their "Coin-Operated Boy" routine, because the corridor that formed put me in the front row for that. :D

Anyway. Jason Webley came on first and he was SO GOOD. Akkordion is one of my musical weaknesses anyway, but he was just all around really good and an amazing entertainer. The crowd started out really unenthusiastic, but in the span of three songs he managed to make everyone party. Like, he sang "Captain, Where Are We Going Now" first, and then another one, and then he was like "The next one is a drinking song, and you should all sing along. Who wants to sing along?" And the crowd was kind of... blah, so he said "Ok, then I'm just going to sing a depressing song about the end of the world." And sang "Last Song", which I instantly fell in love with. Then he tried the drinking song again, and when someone told him we weren't into it because we were all too sober, he was all "Ok, who wants to get wasted? Raise your right index finger. And now look at that finger... Ok, now spin around 12 times. Go!" Not a lot of people did it (I gave up after five turns or so), but it did work. :))

I could have listened to him for hours, but Zoe Keating came on next, and she was fantastic as well. It's amazing what she can do with just a cello and a computer. It's the kind of music that I really just want to turn up real high, lie down and drown in it, but it's great to hear it played live as well. ♥

Next came Battle Circus, a band from New Zealand, that they didn't know before, apparently, and I'm not sure why they were added to the bill. They weren't even bad, kind of like a heavier version of Muse with more piano? Just, their songs were loooong, with some pretty repetitive instrumental parts, and it just wasn't what I had come there to see, you know? They were all really beautiful, though, so I mostly spent their set staring creepily at the pianist. She was so incredibly gorgeous and played with such an abandon, couldn't help it, ok!

Then there was one song by some random German comedian, and finally the Danger Ensemble (who are AWESOME, by the way, and I also really loved the way one of them, whose name I forgot, played host and kind of held the show together) got back on stage, and the main act began. There was some... interpretive dancing to conjure up Amanda, who solemnly took the stage (through a corridor in the crowd that went right by me, I possibly might have flailed a lot on the inside) and launched right into "Astronaut". Next up was "Ampersand", and by that point I already started thinking that very few people in the audience had even listened to the album, because they all just kind of stood there, and nobody was singing along (I just kind of lip-synched, because I would have felt weird singing out loud) and it was sort of lame. Amanda was amazing, so, whatever.

As usual, I don't remember the order of the songs, but off her album she did:
- Astronaut and Ampersand, as mentioned
- Blake Says, which was lovely
- Strength Through Music (Which I tend to skip on the album, to be honest, but which was really moving live. When Lyndon Chester read out the deaths, that was kind of amazing.)
- Guitar Hero, which they fittingly launched into right after Strength Through Music. The routine was awesome and Amanda and the Danger Ensemble just ROCKED OUT and all I got is: ♥!!
- Have To Drive. Amanda said it's one of her favourite songs off the album, but to be honest, I'm kind of indifferent to it.
- I expected her to play more, and I was actually disappointed that she didn't do "Runs in the Family" and "Oasis", but considering that the crowd seemed to know all the Dresden Dolls songs, but none of her own, I guess I see why she did that.

She played some Dresden Dolls songs:
- Bad Habit, which was great live, but is a song that I associate with some not-so-good times, so I could have done without it.
- Coin-Operated Boy, which was FABULOUS. The Danger Ensemble did this awesome performance where the guys came on stage to play the coin-operated boys, and the girls were all over them, and then the guys ran away through the audience to sell kisses, and the girls ran after them, and I was in the front row for all of that, and it was so much fun. Also, it made me miss being on stage, a lot. After the show I kind of chewed Chi's ear off trying to explain what performing means to me, in that way where it's... not sure how to explain it, but, like, invulnerability through vulnerability? I'd need a ten-page essay to really explain what I mean. Anyway, it made me miss that.
- Half Jack, which I like much better live than recorded.

And a lovely Regina Spektor cover, and Seeräuberjenny, which was amazing, because her German pronounciation is really, really good. I don't think she really speaks a lot of German? But you could be fooled. Although, to be honest, she could have pronounced everything the wrong way, and I would have loved it anyway, because: Threepenny Opera! Can't go wrong with that.

Also, "I Google You", a song about the modern way to deal with heartbreak, which was funny and scarily true and I loved it.

Now would be the point where I gush about the "Ask Amanda" section, but I don't even know how to coherently write about that (or her stage presence and banter in general). Just, I sometimes worry that people I fangirl on the internet will turn out to be assholes live, but she seems like such a cool, genuine person. She went off on an awesome tangent about shaving and the "politics" of it that made me wish I had some portable exclamation marks to put behind it. The internet has ruined me, hasn't it? :( Also fun: trying to find a German word for or a way to explain "shenanigans", because most of the audience didn't know the word. I wanted to help out, but there really is no German translation that even comes close.

Then for the encore, everyone got back on stage, and they did a cover of some older German song that I KNOW I have heard before, but I just could not place it. And I don't remember enough of the lyrics to google it. Damn, I hate when that happens. After that, Amanda and Jason sang "Living On A Prayer" and it was half "WTF??" and half AMAZING. Like, it was kind of ironic, I guess, but then I also had one of those "YES! WE CAN MAKE IT! THE WORLD IS AWESOME!" moments. :D

Chi and I got some merch afterwards, a WKAP shirt (that I can't find a picture off online, I'll take one later, because it's great) and Jason Webley's CDs. Everyone hung out afterwards, but we both decided against staying around, because we would just have been starstruck, anyway. Or rather, it's not so much being starstruck, I guess, as it's such a weird situation to just go up and talk to someone that you kind of "know", but not really, you know? I can do the asking for an autograph thing (but I don't actually care about autographs much), but just saying "Hi, I loved the show" feels sort of weird. I don't know.

So, anyway, conclusion: Amanda Fucking Palmer is the best, as is Jason Webley, The Danger Ensemble are brilliant and make me jealous, Zoe Keating and Lyndon Chester make beautiful music, and Battle Circus are pretty and I could definitely appreciate their music in a different environment. Also, Katie Kay is ridiculously gorgeous.

*Re: Berlin's audiences - As much as I love this city, people at shows tends to be really lame. I don't get it, we definitely know how to party, but at most concerts everyone just seems to stand around and nod their heads. :-/
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