Not many things are impossible. Difficult maybe, but not impossible. However, I do believe that getting tired of seeing Ingrid Michaelson live in concert could be something that is most definitely impossible. Having attended each and every one of Ingrid Michaelson’s performances in Chicago since March 2008, I can honestly say I never get sick of going to the singer/songwriter’s shows. I don’t think I ever will. Each time is such a unique and intimate experience with Ingrid always telling the crowd hilarious new stories from her life and cracking jokes that get everyone laughing out loud. LOLs for realz…
More photos of Ingrid Michaelson and the set list after the jump!
Set List / Chicago
Soldier / Poker Face / Soldier
You And I
Ice Ice Baby / The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air / The Way I Am
Toxic (Britney Spears cover)
“Can’t read my, can’t read my, no he can’t read my poker face,” sang Michaelson in the middle of opening number “Soldier.” Not that I didn’t love Ingrid before her impromptu cover of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face,” but as soon as those words left Michaelson’s lips, I fell even more in love with this girl, her personality, and her music. What a perfect way to kick off a show. As Michaelson repeated the “Poker Face” chorus over and over again, yours truly was smiling, chuckling, and singing along. I don’t care what anyone says, that Gaga song is addictive as any narcotic and everybody knows the words. Once Ingrid got Gaga out of her system, she and her five-piece band got back on track and finished out the rest of “Soldier,” which just so happens to be my favorite song on the artist’s new record Everybody.
After “You And I” came a new song whose title was never mentioned. But I came up with my own name for the new tune: “Long Gone.” This is because the phrase “You been long gone” was sung so often during what appeared to be the chorus, that anybody would assume the song must be called something along the lines of “Long Gone.” While introducing her new untitled material, Michaelson begged fans to be gentle with her new baby. “It just came out of the musical vagina,” joked Ingrid. “Be nice to it. It’s brand new. It’s just a baby.” Too bad her most recently born child is not on mom’s Everybody record because after hearing what I heard last Friday night, I am officially obsessed with the hunt to hear it again! All I can remember were the phrases “Give it up today,” “You been long gone,” and “I want to feel loved.” Michaelson better release a recorded version on iTunes stat.
At last the time came when Michaelson had to perform the one song that brought her mainstream success and will forever be the hit she is known for. After getting up from behind her keyboard where she had performed “Locked Up,” Ingrid announced to the audience that, “I’ve sung this song like 1,000 times so I have to change it up,” as her band played the tune’s intro on a constant loop. You all know what song I’m talking about…”The Way I Am.” However, what came out of this sassy singer’s mouth was not the expected lyric “If you were falling…” What we got instead was the first verse to “Ice Ice Baby” by the one and only Vanilla Ice. But oh wait! There’s more. Michaelson followed up her white boy rapping with some old school Will Smith and spat out “The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air,” the theme song memorized by every fanatic of hit TV series The Fresh Prince. Change it up, indeed.
Next up was lead single “Maybe” off of Ingrid’s latest record Everybody. Michaelson ordered fans to pass up a note from a fan who was frantically waving it around in the air in the hopes that it would catch the performer’s attention. Well, his plan worked. Ingrid ordered fans to pass up the note, which was from a boy named Jake. Inside the note was a wallet size photo of Jake and one daring question: Will you go to prom with me? “This song is for Jake,” said Michaelson before stuffing the photo into the left side of her bra, right over her heart. Aww… “Mandolin solo!” shouted Michaelson to one of her band members during the contagious sing along “Far Away.” Not to be outdone by the intricate and impressive mandolin solo, Ingrid snatched up what seemed to be a toy piccolo type of instrument from the woodwind family and attempted to give the song her own bit of flair.
It always annoys me when an artist ends their already very short set with a cover of someone else’s song versus one of their own compositions. And that is exactly what Ingrid Michaelson did last Friday night in Chicago. “This song is not mine. It’s by a girl who is finally just now getting the attention she deserves. She is coming into her own and I’m so proud of her,” said Michaelson with not one drop of sarcasm. “It’s by a Miss Britney Spears.” While I will acknowledge that “Toxic” is a classic great song, disappointment is what I felt when I realized that Ingrid wouldn’t be squeezing in one of her own tracks to finish out her set.
This tour is a “co-headlining” venture with Ingrid performing each gig alongside fellow singer/songwriter guitarist/pianist Mat Kearney. The two headliners take turns in every city playing last. With Ingrid playing first in Chicago, she got one hour to serenade her fans, and I will freely admit how unhappy I was with that time allotment. Michaelson has enough albums and tunes to play for an hour and half. I could have down without the tribute to Britney. Couldn’t we all? I would have been perfectly pleased and satisfied with the last song of Ingrid’s set being one of my favorites such as “Starting Now,” “Men Of Snow,” or “Once Was Love.”
Nevertheless, I left this show grateful that I was there. In all honesty, “Toxic” wasn’t so bad once the original version began blasting through the house PA with Michaelson centering herself in between band members as they all lined up and executed a previously made up and rehearsed dance routine. A grin spread across my face as I thought to myself, Nice try guys, but Britney puts you to shame when it comes to the dancing. Practice makes perfect!
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