LIVE REVIEW: Amanda Palmer, Andrew O’Neill @ Sage Gateshead (04.05.18) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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An Evening with Amanda Palmer at Sage Gateshead was time spent in the dissonance of, as Amanda put it, our disoriented world.

Supported by comedian Andrew O’Neill, his alternative comedy entertained a crowd whose raucous laughter is a sound I’ve still only heard in venues up north. The two were the perfect match.

The evening combined new material from an upcoming album with audience-suggested oldies that rekindled memories to once-kids like me; those of us who’d wailed along to Half Jack and Delilah in our youth.

Amanda’s lyrics speak to our generation: in A Mother’s Confession she sings a resonant, “I feel so useless in this universe” and when O’Neill reads out names of gun violence victims during Strength Through Music the room is stripped of sound. Amanda’s writing exposes nerves. We’re hungry for it. The world is hungry for it. We need it more than ever.

The new tracks spoke of hard-hitting realities: death, abortion, birth. Sad things, as Amanda put it. We were lucky we got to be the first to hear them. The epic set also included tracks like In My Mind and The Killing Type, and a teasing suggestion that The Dresden Dolls may tour the UK soon.

In her book, The Art of Asking: or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help, Amanda said we have the power to help each other. In that auditorium, we did.

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