First off I have to say my husband is amazing. He didn’t have to get me tickets, but he did. He’s the best. Big ups to my mom and niece too…they came over to watch SproutCroft. WHO popped his first tooth yesterday, birthday eve!
I’ll admit I didn’t know what to expect heading down to Hudson for this show. Sure I’ve listened to a lot of Amanda Palmer over the years. But I knew nothing of Thor & Friends (opening act) nor of Amanda’s Dad, Jack. So we were going into the evening blind. We arrived in Hudson with an hour to spare before the show was to start and grabbed quick eats at Farmer and Sons. This was not at all cheap eats, but as the mister reminded me it was for my birthday. He got a burger and beer, I went with oysters and gin…like you do.
We finished around 7 when the show was to begin. But as if by happy accident it seemed we were wrong on the start time as people were just lining up. Once inside we were lucky enough to score seats (I’m too old to sit on the floor…ok honestly I probably can’t get off the floor now). The first thing I noticed was the age range of those in attendance…all over the map. The second thing? SO MANY ukuleles. Seriously all the ukuleles. And yes I had mine with me too.
If you recall Neil Gaiman (Amanda’s husband) had signed Islington three years ago when he came to Saratoga. At the time he told me that this wasn’t his area and I should really have Amanda sign it. Well, challenge accepted…which took three years to see happen. More on that later.
Now with the little at home that meant momma would need to pump at least twice while at the show. Which I did. In the bathroom. I’m sure I could have done it in my seat and no one would have given a shit. But I couldn’t see what I was doing so I had to pump in the bathroom. Many thanks to all the woman who told me I was doing an amazing job or that I was a good momma. That really helped get me through missing some of the show and pumping. Funny story on the way to pump the first time I passed this dude who I SWORE looked like Ben Folds of Ben Folds Five fame. But I thought no freaking way.
So I missed the first few minutes of the show due to pumping. But I really enjoyed Thor & Friends! As Thor said what they do is magic. Apparently he’ll also be happy to host your kids at his house…so we’re thinking about it. I kid.They have their first album coming out in September. So check that out. At one point Amanda came out to play with them on, well I’m not sure what…but it was cool. Then Thor calls BEN FOLDS to come up and play! Yeah it was Ben FUCKING Folds I walked past.
But wait it gets better. My husband tells me at the break that he’s just chilling in the crowd. I say yeah I’m sure he is…then go to get some air. Well, who do I see hanging out but Ben Folds. So naturally I stop and fell all over myself like an asshole. However, he was super great about it and said I was sweet. He also shook my hand twice. I nearly died. Thinking back I totally should have apologized for the hack job my friends and I did singing Brick back in 2000. We though we sounded AMAZING…when we listened to the tape the next day…we sounded like Lawrence Welk on crack…so uh I’m sorry Ben Folds.
So after that I headed back to my seat to freak out about it on Twitter…because I’m super classy like that. Amanda came out with her actual special guest, Gracie Folds. Who sang a super beautiful song, that I now forget the name of. (Fun story, when I went to punp again she and I chatted in the ladies room WHILE I WAS PUMPING….yeah again not my finest moment, but she was super cool about it.) Now it was time for Amanda and her Dad to take the stage. But first Amanda sang “In My Mind” which I was not expecting and it was great! She and Thor and Friends then sang a song they just made up on the spot while on tour. Which was basically a beautiful poem with music. Even my husband wished he’d recorded it. Yes it was that good!
Then Amanda’s dad Jack joined her on stage. He’s awesome too. It’s obvious how much pride he has for his daughter and his grandson (who was in the audience for a moment). They sang a bunch of songs off their album “You Got Me Signing” most of which it turns out my husband had heard, as sung by the original artists. We were treated to: You Got me Singing, Wynken, Blynken, and Nod, 1952 Vincent Black Lightening, Pink Emerson Radio, Glacier, and I Love You So Much. That last one we all got to sing along on and it was epic.
This show was not at all what I expected, but it was everything I wanted in a show with Jack and Amanda Palmer. It felt super intimate and people were very chill about it too. Seriously no one was an asshole. After the show there was a signing and a lot of people left, so we got in line and waited. When it was our turn my hope was to not be a spaz as I was with Ben Folds. So there it was my turn to chat with Amanda and Jack. I gently took Islington out of the case and she said “This is like the fifth fucking uke of the night.” To which hubs replied “This one is a little different.” Then she saw Neil’s signature and smiled. So I told the story from three years ago and we laughed about it.
I asked for an across the table hug and got one! While hugging I told her her book helped me through some bad shit…especially the part where she talks about loosing her baby. Which lead to talking about my tattoo for my three and of course my rainbow baby. The whole time we were chatting we held hands and she patted the tattoo in question. It was brilliant and something I will never forget. I swear most artists love their fans. But Amanda seriously loves hers and it showed during the signing. She and Jack listened to everyone who stopped at the table and it was wonderful to have that experience.
Oh right! She AND Jack signed my uke! All in all it was the best way to spend my birthday eve! Even better? Apparently my little guy wanted to see me on my birthday too as he STAYED UP until we got home…but a little boob and some cuddles and he was out for the count.
UPDATED to add that Amanda also sang Machete, a song she had written for her dear friend Anthony.