If someone on my deathbed ever asked me what some of my best memories were, the London Amanda Palmer party would have to be among them. To be fair, this is a topic on which I could never be perfectly objective. I have been an Amanda Palmer fan since 2008. Since my college roommate introduced me to her music, I have yet to find another artist who I have connected with, musically, emotionally, and personally. Amanda, like many artists and musicians of a bygone age, are part of the community and remain in constant sharing relationship. In the modern age of instant worldwide communication, Amanda has used the Internet as a platform to connect with her fans and remain an integral part in the personal lives of fans. While she has touched many people with her music, she has also touched, and hugged, and kissed many fans and exchanged the kind of love and understanding that exceeds many expectations of performers in the 21st century.
Having seen Ms. Palmer perform previously on two other occasions, I was very much excited by the prospect of attending her summer tour in Europe. Having planned to visit London for quite a few years, I decided to take an opportunity for my trip to coincide with one of Amanda’s performances. While I may not be the most active online fan of Amanda’s, I have met many fellow Amanda fans through online social networking sites. It was through the amazing online community of Amanda fans that I gave me the opportunity attend a private party in Amanda’s honour which had been purchased as part of her Kickstarter campaign to raise money for her newest CD, Theatre is Evil
I have previously seen Amanda on two other occasions. The first had been on my trip to San Francisco in the summer of 2009 where I had the chance to watch her perform at the Oakland Fire Arts Festival. Also, in 2010, while I had been living in the US, Amanda had announced a reunion tour with her bandmate Brian Viglione to reform as part of The Dresden Dolls. It was November of 2010 that I had the chance to meet Amanda in person after her performance and express my gratitude for her existence. I had never felt more nervous or excited in my life!
When one of my long time Internet friends invited me to attend the private Kickstarter party, I couldn’t say yes quickly enough and jumped at the chance to once more personally interact with one of my idols. My first visit to London will forever remain etched in my memory as one of the most fun travel experiences due to the many museums, discoveries and friends who I met in that time. But the crowning glory of my summer was the opportunity to have a private chat with Amanda Palmer. On July 20th, 2013, my dream had come true!
The party goers slowly trickled in the afternoon. It was hot partly cloudy summer day just perfect for spending the day on the terrace or in the garden. The bunting was up, the food was on the grill and alcohol was slowly lubricating the guests. Everyone became friendlier and small talk continued until Ms. Palmer herself arrived in the late afternoon and the excitement spread like wildfire. She announced her commitment to talk to every person at the party and my heart felt like leaping out of my chest. Hoping to escape to gather my thoughts, I retreated to the kitchen in search of food. This is where Amanda had ambushed me. She said hello and I fumbled with my words, at a complete loss as to where to begin my long awaited speech. I made a quick summary of our previous meeting back in 2010 and she listened attentively. I do not quite recall what I had also said, but the conversation had ended in a kiss and a hug. Several seconds later when blood had returned to my brain, the realized that I was truly at this party and Amanda Palmer had indeed spoken with me and had given me her stamp of approval. I don’t recall ever crying in happiness but the tears rolled for a good five minutes after.
Amanda went on perform some songs, including crowd favourities such as “Ukelele Anthem” and “Missed Me.” She also sang my favourite song on her newest album, “Melody Dean.” I sang along with all my heart and let the loving atmosphere fill me to the brim. I later went up to Miss Palmer, this time having rehearsed my words, and told her how much she means to me and how her music has been crucial to my growth over the years. She hugged and kissed me once more. After taking a break, Amanda announced that while sharpying her body was an old trend, she would much rather take markers and have everyone colour and draw on each other. While I chose not to undress, I did partake in the celebration of body diversity by colouring others. Later, Sxip Shirey also joined in the musical celebration and played a few songs with Amanda. The crowning glory of the party was everyone swaying in unison to Jason Webley’s “Drinking Song.” I myself remember swaying like a drunk sailor while brandishing a bottle of red wine.
As the party was winding down, Amanda offered to sign some last minute things and pose for photo ops. I got a chance to hug and kiss and photo-op with Amanda for the last time. So many exaggerated feelings can be recalled from that night. The feeling of warmth and unity were by far the two most powerful. Watching Amanda fans come together to celebrate music and freedom is truly extraordinary! That was a night to remember for a lifetime!