Songwriter Amanda Palmer brings her four-hour show to the Warfield. (Courtesy Allan Amato)

Amanda Palmer goes big with ‘No Intermission’

Performance artist calls lengthy show ‘cathartic’

Raconteur, songwriter and unrepentant Goth rocker Amanda Palmer admits she might have fudged the facts with the ominous title of her current production, “There Will Be No Intermission” — named for her latest album — which hits San Francisco this week. There will, in fact, be a brief moment to stretch and fetch in the Warfield lobby.

“But it’s a four-hour show that’s part TED Talk, part standup, part singer-songwriter-y and so f——— cathartic for me,” she says. “In it, I graphically describe going through three abortions, one miscarriage, a childbirth, and a lot of other things.” She’s deemed it her magnum opus.

Palmer initially wanted “Intermission” to have week-long runs in smaller clubs around the world, as she only plans on doing such intimate material once.

But had another factor to consider: Ash, her 3-year-old son with her husband of eight years, British fantasy writer Neil Gaiman.

“I truly wanted this experience to be intimate, but I didn’t want to spend the next three years on the road with it,” she says. “So I did what I had to do. I swung for the fences on theater capacity.”

And her gamble paid off — the buzzed-about tour is selling out.

Palmer is proud that “Intermission” rivals in length the average concert of her unexpected idol, Bruce Springsteen, to whom she devotes an entire monologue.

When the Bostonian was forming her first Gothic combo The Dresden Dolls in 2000, she sneered at arena-rock artists, lumping The Boss in with other bands her genre uniformly despised, like Bon Jovi and Van Halen.

“No one ever took me aside and said, ‘You know, you might want to consider listening to Bruce’s work, it’s really good.’ I wasn’t told, I wasn’t educated,” she says in retrospect. “Then I finally Googled the lyrics to ‘Born in the U.S.A.’ and went, ‘Holy f—-.’”

From her Dresden Dolls springboard, Palmer’s horizons expanded into books (2014’s “The Art of Asking” memoir), surreal solo experiments (“Amanda Palmer Performs the Popular Hits of Radiohead on Her Magical Ukulele”) and a fount of collaborations, with friends (Jason Webley in the group Evelyn Evelyn), the famous (an album with one of her heroes, Legendary Pink Dots leader Edward Ka-Spel) and even family (a 2016 duets disc with her father Jack Palmer.)

Ironically, the 43-year-old says that being a touring musician has well-equipped her for the demands of motherhood. “Because something’s always lost, broken or mismatched, and you’re constantly having to MacGyver your way through,” she says. “Perfect preparation for when you and your toddler are in the airport and you realize you’re out of diapers and you have to find something. ”


Amanda Palmer

Where: Warfield, 982 Market St., S.F.

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 10

Tickets: $35 to $60

Contact: (888) 929-7847,

Pop Music

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