An evening with Amanda Palmer


Amanda Palmer performed at Thalia Hall in Chicago on Nov. 13. Palmer’s realness and personal interaction with the audience created a familiar and intimate environment. Photo by: Emily Badger

Mia Brann

The deep and vibrating lyrics of Leonard Cohen filled the grand room of Thalia Hall as the audience chattered in their seats, awaiting the start of the Amanda Palmer concert on Sunday, Nov. 13.

The atmosphere of anticipation changed to one of ecstatic screams and applause as Amanda Palmer walked into the striking light of the stage. How she interacted with the audience was not unlike a conversation, letting her caring and supportive fans into her life through her words and her music.

Like an old friend, she addressed topics ranging from family to politics, exposing the rawness of who she was. Palmer received overwhelming support from her fans, establishing an intimate relationship with each person in the audience. Palmer’s enthralling and lyrically poetic music brought the audience into the pains and the wonder of her humanity.

Sitting at a dark and grand piano, Palmer smashed keys with hard, angry strokes to start the first song “I’m Not the Killing Type.” Following this, she changed to beautiful melodies of “You Got Me Singing” by Leonard Cohen, who passed away on Nov. 7. Palmer spoke about Cohen’s influence on her relationship with her father and urged the audience to leave their seats and add to the ‘Ukulele Coffin’ altar at the front of the stage. Flowers, candles and cards adorned the stage for the rest of the night.

Real emotion resonated from Palmer to her fans as she closed the show with a cover of “Hallelujah.” She passionately performed with a single, white light illuminating her in the dark. Tears flowed and harmonies rose from the audience in magnificent awe of the inspiring Amanda Palmer.