Amanda Palmer @ Monument National – 23rd March 2019

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Amanda Palmer @ Monument National, Montreal

Amanda Palmer was in town for a unique concert, one that was in a way, so sad, but one that also made me feel good like I haven’t felt in a long time, watching an artist perform.

The concept behind this series of concerts is simple. Amanda is by herself, sometimes behind the piano, sometimes holding the ukulele, but always singing, or talking, for about 3 hours. This may sound like a lot. But believe me, it doesn’t feel like it. The tour is called “There will be No Intermission” (but there was…), which is also the title of her latest album. An album that took 7 years to write, and was made possible thanks to 15,000 Patrons from all over the world.

Amanda Palmer on stage at Monument National

The reason why you don’t realize you’ve been sitting there for so long is that Amanda is telling a story in between each song. But she is not just telling a story. She is opening up her chest, and talking to us, from the bottom of her heart, as raw as it is. And it was amazing. Because like I said, yes most of her struggles may sound really sad, but by being so honest, she’s able to find the humor in all this.

Amanda Palmer at Montreal's Monument National

She also mentions to us, that if it ever gets too sad, we can say it out loud, and she’ll play a bit of “Coin-Operated Boy”, a classic from her days with the wonderful Dresden Dolls. That got a loud cheer. The Monument National was well packed with many longtime fans, and I gotta say this gorgeous venue made the evening even more special.

When Amanda first arrived on stage, she sat down at the tip of the stage, and played “In My Mind”, with her ukulele, and no mic. That really set the tone for the evening. This was going to be, very intimate. She eventually made her way behind the piano. She starts telling us that we can’t really see it from our seats, but inside the piano, there are many signatures from famous musicians who played on the same instrument, and she said she couldn’t help but be shaken when she saw that one of the names was Leonard Cohen. She would later play a beautiful cover of “Everybody Knows”.

Amanda Palmer in concert at Monument National in Montreal

So what does she talk about? Well, I suggest you get the album, to experience it in her own words, because like she said herself, when she talked about how she got a lot of bad press for singing about abortion; she is an artist and her job is to take the dark, and make light. So this is the kind of topic she opened up about. How she always felt so strong that she was used to bad press, mostly from the right wing, but that when it also came from the left wing, which she calls her allies, this is when it really got her down.

When talking about the idea of having children, she also mentioned that having no kids in her family and being an artist that performed all over the world, her only specimen of kids to watch were kids at the airport. You know, the kids that are always “so well behaved”, with the parents that look the “happiest”. Funny story.

In the end, it was a beautiful evening, with beautiful performances from a brilliant artist. I was moved more than once, not only by her stories, but by her unique and amazing voice, and you could tell the whole audience was too.

Review & photos – Pedro Manu Riot

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