Live Review: Amanda Palmer, Philadelphia, April 6, 2019

Over the course of four-plus hours at the Temple Performing Arts Center, Amanda Palmer—never one to hold back—opened up about abortion, motherhood and miscarriage, callout culture and radical forgiveness, grief and anger and pain and shame and ambivalence.

She also played magnificent versions of most of the songs from her recent album, There Will Be No Intermission (highlights including “Drowning In The Sound,” “Voicemail For Jill,” “A Mother’s Confession,” “The Thing About Things” and “Machete”), along with a few old favorites (“Runs In The Family,” “Oasis,” Dresden Dolls’ “Coin-Operated Boy”) and a couple Disney songs everyone but me seemed to know.

Palmer credited Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette and Bruce Springsteen’s Broadway show for inspiring her to do this kind of thing, but few other performers would dare to stage such a relentlessly vulnerable, emotional and downright downer of a concert on a beautiful spring night—let alone keep an audience so enthralled by it from 7:30 p.m. until nearly midnight.

Maybe the pacing, at one song every 17 minutes or so, isn’t for everyone, but Amanda Palmer fans are a self-selecting group, and I doubt anyone made it through the whole show without at least tearing up a little. I’m certain we won’t see anything else like it for a very long time.

—M.J. Fine; photos by Chris Sikich