Sleepover Show #137: Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra
It is safe to say that we’ve wanted to film Amanda Palmer since the early days of the site. Being a Boston-based music blog, it helps to film some of your city’s best, and Palmer certainly applies. And this is how it happened: we showed up to film a little acoustic set with her and the Grand Theft Orchestra before their final gallery show this summer and Amanda simply asked us to come back and film the show itself. How could we say no to that?
We returned a little later and set up in the pitch-black Middle East Downstairs. The show, we were told, would be done with the help of the audience. As the performance began, the members of the Grand Theft Orchestra handed out flashlights. We’d see what the audience wanted to see. We’d film what they trained their lights on. We really like the result—with band members coming in and out of the darkness as they ran around the space, Palmer belting out half a dozen songs from their new album Theatre is Evil, and the crowd assisting with the stage lighting.
You need to see Palmer live to really appreciate what she’s doing. It sounds lame to say it, and even lamer to write this, but she is an artist, and while we filmed we couldn’t help but think of this as a 1960s happening. It was a performance, not just of music, but of choreography, dance, stagecraft, and a healthy amount of chaos.
Palmer begins a string of dates at the Paradise tonight through Saturday. Today and tomorrow we’ll post five songs from that summer gallery show. We hope you enjoy.
First up, the intro—Palmer and Co. gathering their materials in the green room, running out to the floor, handing out flashlights, and breaking into The Killing Type:
Next, The Bed Song:
Lost, which ends in a rather great primal scream:
Trout Heart Replica:
And the final song from the concert, Want it Back: