Little known fact about Ingrid Michaelson: her backing band consists of Catwoman, Jim Carrey, sexiest man alive Ryan Gosling, three-time Oscar Winner Meryl Streep, and the Backstreet Boys (yes, all five of them). At least that’s who they were in Vancouver on Friday night. You see, it’s a game Ingrid likes to play. She introduces her band members one at a time and attaches a celebrity to the end of their name and then they have to an impression of whoever she says. Ingrid also doesn’t tell them before hand who she is going to say. She mentioned that she was in Toronto and introduced Justin Bieber who promptly received a loud chorus of boos. “Isn’t he one of yours?” she asks. More boos. She quickly learned how he is our east favourite son and shortly thereafter changed it to Tegan & Sara. That’s more like it. As Ingrid said “one pees in a bucket and the other’s awesome”. Well said Ingrid, well said.
If Alex Goot is the prince of piano pop, then Michaelson is the Queen. She is quirky, engaging, and as evidenced by her introductions, a bit of a jokester. Her auburn hair glistened under the famous Commodore lights, and her silhouetted figure became a raging rock goddess. Pianos, guitars, trumpets, accordions, bass and drums all added to her crowning as music’s new pop-rockette.
She is also insanely versatile. Whether it’s audacious, haunting rendition of the ballad “Can’t Help Falling in Love” to the epic classic rock-style “Wartime” or even the wildly experimental, electric “Stick“, which one reviewer on iTunes unfairly called an “assault on the ears”. That’s patently absurd. Music is the one place where an assault is not a negative thing. “Stick” is a multi-layered tune, that fuses together many elements of making music. It’s vastly different then anything else on her album but kudos to her for stretching herself. I quite liked the piece for the simple fact that the elements work together. She also did something quite interesting. Her opener was a duo called Storyman. (Kevin May and Mick Lynch). They wrote a song called “You Got Me” for their album This Time Round. Ingrid liked it so much that she asked if she could cover it, add an extra verse and put it on her album. Kevin and Mick obliged and that’s exactly what she did. When she played it live on Friday, she brought out Storyman, and the three of them sound amazing together.
That’s the type of person Ingrid is. One who has a deep appreciation and admiration for not only music, but for the artists themselves. It came off in spades in the show. She has so much fun up there. Many artists talk, many don’t. Others are still finding who they are in the regard. With Michaelson, there is no doubt. You know who she is cause she is so authentic. She is also a girl who chases boys who chase girls. It was a wonderful night.
Girls Chase Boys –
Ingrid eating a melon –
Lights Out, Michaelson’s sixth album, was released April 15th on Mom & Pop records.
RIYL: Lights, Serena Ryder, Imogen Heap, Alex Goot, Andy Grammer