After observing the vastly eclectic crowd lining up outside of the Forum, the expectation for the night’s performance was nothing but surprise, and entertainment. Both of which were fulfilled beyond any imaginable hope.
The night began with an introduction to Berlin’s finest, Astrid and Otto Rot. The brother and sister duo wear red, black and white, Astrid plays the drums and Otto plays guitar. If that short description is reminding you of another band, that’s where the similarity stops. Repeated cheers of Mel-bourne were followed by Burger Store Dinosaur. The hilarity continued with learning more about the dinosaur, dramatic band member introductions before the Pixies inspired Bananenhaus.
To fully experience Die Roten Punkte, one must watch and listen…and laugh
This wasn’t all about Otto though, with Astrid working the stage while searching for a Second Best Friend in the crowd before the evening’s first surprises – a keytar, and Amanda Palmer wearing the infamous Tony Abbott t-shirt joining Die Roten Punkte for ‘Ich Bin Nicht Ein Roboter (I Am A Lion)’
(Die Roten Punkte are also crowdfunding a movie…get behind it if you can: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/die-roten-punkte-movie/x/645003)
If anyone wasn’t sufficiently warmed up by this point, further treats were delivered with body poetry, a performance of Brendan Maclean’s Stupid and the amazing Jherek Bischoff from none other than the Grand Theft Orchestra. Seeing him perform Konono No.1’s ‘Kule Kule’ on bass before captivating the crowd with a ukulele made me wish I’d been able to see him at the Toff the night before. Pieces designed for multiple musicians, brought to life on stage by one – truly amazing musicianship right there!
There was no opportunity to ease into the main act for the evening, with Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra hitting the stage with Do It With A Rockstar, but The Grand Theft Orchestra had the stage to themselves for most of the song while Amanda Palmer jumped off stage and wandered through the crowd, dancing, jumping and crowd surfing across the floor.
With a lost bag, a lost mum, a broken (but promptly repaired) glockenspiel and surprise guests galore Amanda Palmer entertained with original material and well-selected covers. The Dresden Dolls’ Missed Me was greeted with cheers from the audience, and after returning to the GTO for Want it Back, Kate Miller Heidke made a guest appearance with soaring vocals reaching every corner of the Forum with Are You F*cking Kidding Me (The Facebook Song)…glorious and humorous!
The band returned, with more banter and music, delighting with Lost before Amanda Palmer performed a more subdued but amazing cover of Bat for Lashes’ ‘Laura’ with Brendan MacLean to an enthralled and silenced audience.
Everyone remained equally transfixed for a solo performance, respectfully watching in awe before it was time for Amanda Palmer to rock a ukulele with the crowd singing and dancing along to Map of Tasmania, then being ridden of all guilty pleasures with tales leading to Gaga Palmer Madonna.
We weren’t done with surprises just yet, with Missy Higgins making an appearance with a new song (I Can’t Find You). Even in its unfinished state, it was impressively good.
Amanda Palmer then continued to show love for all things local, performing ‘From St Kilda to Fitzroy’ before the stage lights were turned down for a cover of Noah Britton’s ‘I Love You So Much’, eventually only illuminated by the starry Forum ceiling. After Bottomfeeder, and more crowd surfing the partying returned with my favourite part of the night, a cover of Pulp’s ‘Common People’.
Was that enough for the evening? Clearly not, with Amanda Palmer inviting everyone back on stage for the encore, covering the Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams. Sweet indeed!