MOAR Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra, Middle East, Night Two

After, a slip dress the color of wine, and gray tights (to her knees) and black mary janes. Still theatrical, though tired. Flowers on the stage torn from her keyboard. Twenty minutes or so after the band played their two-song encore (Leeds United and Girl Anachronism) and here was Amanda, the edge of the stage, sitting for the first time since at least the band went on at 10:40 p.m.

Before, outside the Middle East, the line 100 deep, and that was about 45 minutes before doors. Couldn’t make it to the venue any earlier. Glad I got to be against the stage on Tuesday. Different, rock shows, when you’re in the middle of a crowd and not in front of a crowd. More encompassing, your view. (Amanda’s picture, taken slyly; she stood on the street, looking at us, for several seconds before anyone called out to her, triggering an avalanche of catcalls and frantic hand signals, anything for eye-contact).

During, a banshee with a megaphone and a keytar, separately. A crowd-surfing ninja, eye and eyebrow make-up smeared. Wring her out and you could have filled a water glass.

Stage lights didn’t help. Hot enough for the tuxedo-wearing Jherek Bischoff to take off his jacket, and for Michael McQuilken to unbutton his shirt, and for Chad Raines to, well, do what Chad Raines does.

Jherek, Michael, and Chad are the Grand Theft Orchestra, though on Tuesday, Jherek and Chad were two of three openers. Jherek with his strings composition and Chad with his pre-making-it-big Scissor Sisters antics and voice. Opening on Thursday, Jaggery and Tristan Allen (who also opened on Tuesday) and Walter Sickert and  the Army of Broken Toys. Each opener, from each night, hand-picked by Amanda and friends with Amanda and, for two of the people, housemates of Amanda.

Amanda, communicating silently with the front row at one point, before jumping into arms willing to hold her and carry her, over heads and shoulders and outstretched hands, front to back. Still singing, Amanda was. When she passed overhead, in hand, for a few seconds, and then she was gone, moving backward, though from Amanda’s point of view, forward. Metaphoric and meteoric, this different in perspective. Amanda, always moving forward, despite the view from the other side.

After, still after, dead tired and kind of dead, probably wanting nothing more than to go home, but still there, flowers in hand, signing (including someone’s shoe) and talking and letting each of us, for our couple of minutes, do it with a rockstar.

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