If you've ever seen Amanda Palmer -- best known as one-half of Boston "Brechtian Punk Cabaret" duo Dresden Dolls -- perform live, you know just how intense, visually arresting, bawdy, and theatrical the singer and multi-instrumentalist can be. Knowing this, I was still plenty surprised and blown away by Palmer's solo show the other week -- she's on tour in support of her recently released record Who Killed Amanda Palmer. In the midst of it, I thought to myself, "This is kinda like Tori Amos meets Andrew Lloyd Webber, with a steampunk twist," and that description still stands. Whether at center stage behind her piano or at the front with a ukulele or guitar, Palmer -- gothically clad in a bra, corset, and long ruffly skirt -- expertly commingled ferocity, vulnerability, and drama as she plowed through solo and Dresden Dolls material while her fanatic, googly eyed following hung on every word. She was joined by riveting Australian theatre troupe Danger Ensemble, whose costumes and performances veered from humorous to somber to surreal, and who turned the show into a spectacle you won't soon forget. All ages.
Thu., Dec. 11, 8 p.m., 2008