Return to Amanda Palmer


Twitter Killed Amanda Palmer
Amanda Palmer of Dresden Dolls with Vermillion Lies and Hair Machine Culture Room, March 28, 2009
Review by: Kevin Allen

When you hear the name Amanda Palmer, one of two things happen: You either think, "Who?" or you think, "The singer from the Dresden Dolls." No matter which of the two thoughts pop into your head, her incredible talent as a musician and lyricist is undeniable.

Like most concerts, everyone was waiting for the main event; Amanda. As the anticipation grew, so did the temperature in The Culture Room. This was just a minor annoyance, and when Amanda walked coolly on stage wearing shades, it wouldn’t have mattered if a hurricane was raging outside. Sadly, it wasn’t her time to perform; instead she introduced the opening group, Vermillion Lies.

The real life sisters Zoe and Kim Boekbinder make up Vermillion Lies. Their unique show involves the sisters pulling their instruments out of a large trunk before each song and telling the audience to ask, "What’s in the box?" Their blend of folk music with clever rhyming lyrics compliments their angelic voices.

The sisters sang a story of when they were younger, when they wanted to cut open their deceased grandfather to keep his heart. Although the premise of the song sounds disturbing, it really is just a soft, mellow and cute song about two young girls dealing with the death of their grandfather. Another song that pleased the crowd was their "environment song" about global warming; a catchy and fun song that explained how everything changes as the polar ice caps change (how their horse becomes a seahorse and so forth).

"The best music comes when the lyrics and music come at the same time," Palmer said in response to whether she writes music or lyrics first.

Vermillion Lies set the scene for the next act, Hair Machine, to take the stage. Hair Machine, aka Vermillion Lies and Amanda Palmer dressed in disguise, did a pretty good cover of "The Final Countdown" by ’80s group Europe. Mid-way through the song they got into a fight and had to be carried off stage by security. Don’t worry though, it was a fake fight.

Finally after standing for almost two hours, Amanda Palmer walked on stage to be greeted by a packed house of screaming fans. She began with "Leeds United" off of her solo debut album Who Killed Amanda Palmer. The crowd stayed with her as she gained momentum with a song she wrote while apart from The Dresden Dolls, "Bad Habit."

She took a break and decided to have an impromptu Q&A session with the audience. "The best music comes when the lyrics and music come at the same time," Palmer said in response to whether she writes music or lyrics first. Palmer also said, "Hopefully bad pop music will die a slow and painful death." Lastly, she was asked, "Who killed Amanda Palmer?" Jokingly she replied, "Twitter killed Amanda Palmer."

Palmer continued her set with the help of Vermillion Lies, which included hits such as "Coin-Operated Boy," "Ampersand," and "Oasis."

Just when everyone thought Palmer could not be more amazing, she brought out a ukulele and began playing an acoustic cover of Radiohead’s "Creep."

It was by far one of the best shows I’ve had the pleasure to attend. The concert ticket was $15 dollars and in my opinion worth every penny.