Can Ingrid Michaelson Please Be My Best Friend?

Ingrid Michaelson
Park West – Chicago, IL
October 26, 2009

Ingrid Michaelson Park West

I am ‘that girl’ who was more excited to see Ingrid Michaelson than to see Dave Matthews himself (sorry Dave) last summer when she opened for his namesake band as part of their national tour. When I found out I was going to her headlining show Monday night at the Park West theater here in Chicago, I couldn’t imagine anything better than two hours of Ingrid: antics, music, and all. The anticipation I had for her sultry songs, her sarcastic sense of humor, and her musicality consumed me until the moment she commanded the stage with the song “Soldier” from her new album Everybody. After that first song, the pace of the show didn’t let down until the show was over.

More photos of Ingrid Michaelson after the jump…

Ingrid Michaelson Park WestWhether it be from comparing audience participation to a horrible kiss at the end of a good date during “The Hat” or a battle between the sexes with introductory cheer songs to sing to audiences before “You and I,” Ingrid knew how to keep everyone in hysterics. I can’t forget to include her pop-opera rendition of TLC’s hit “No Scrubs” before her acoustic ballads portion of the show or the part where she made everyone sing ‘Jingle Bells’ as mice. I think the audience was conflicted as to whether they wanted her to tell stories or sing, but once she begin singing and quit talking, no one was complaining. She delivered every song taking the audience on a rollercoaster of emotions from heavy songs like “The Chain” to romantic ballads like “Incredible Love” to breakup rants like “Once Was Love” and finally to the up-tempo sing-a-longs like “Everybody,” “Be Ok,” and her new hit “Maybe.”

Did I mention the fact that throughout the show, she played the guitar, ukulele, piano, and even made a cameo appearance at the drum set? Ingrid’s raw talent was all I needed for this show, but I can safely say that the added hilarity made it one of the best shows I have seen all year.

To top everything off, her and her band pulled off the most memorable encore I have ever experienced. Due to time constraints with the venue, instead of going offstage and running back on, Ingrid and her band hid on stage behind the drum set, guitars, and even a drumstick for about a minute then busted out the first song of the encore which was a rendition of her new hit “Maybe” as an ode to Mexican food.

The measure of her success and talent can be measured by the fact that I left the theater wondering why she didn’t sing this song from the album Boys and Girls or that song from her album Be OK. She did, however, sing most of the songs from her new album, which I found myself singing along to the next day without being familiar with them beforehand.

I left the show feeling satisfied and also like I can never get enough of Ingrid. Judging by the packed house she played for, neither can anyone else. For those of you who missed the show, I will leave you with this: “Cause maybe when she comes back, when she comes back around”, you won’t miss her show.

Written by: Kate Jacobsen