INGRID MICHAELSON TAKES MADISON

Friday night Ingrid Michaelson took the new Memorial Union stage. The concert included on-stage spooning, an attempted paper airplane, and flawless singing in between her sarcastic remarks. I don’t think I have ever laughed so much at a concert.

For those of you who may have seen Ingrid at Summerfest or the Basilica Block Party in Minneapolis, this was a completely different show. In part, it was because of the venue and the fact that the audience seemed to have a wider age range. But it was also due to Ingrid’s slower set. People sat down almost the whole concert, with the exception of a couple groups on the main floor that would stand and dance during some of her more upbeat songs. It wasn’t until the final song in her encore that the everyone was on their feet.

Minneapolis Native Chris Koza opened the show with soft indie-pop beats, including a song he wrote that appears on the soundtrack for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, “The Wolves and Ravens.” Chris and his guitarist played a short set, not saying much in between songs. The biggest reaction he got from the audience was when he asked if anyone was excited for Ingrid to come out.

Finally, shortly after 9 o’clock Ingrid scurried onto stage and opened with the first song on her Lights Out album, “Home.” From the beginning it was clear that she was going to be cracking jokes the whole show. “Madison! I love you guys! You should have a square garden somewhere. Then, I can play there and say I have played Madison Square Garden.” During “Maybe” she held out “me” in the “you’re gonna come back to me” so long that it first appeared that she was showing off, until she held it out so long it became humorous.

One of the best parts of the concert was when Ingrid said, “Oh, you guys are giving me the vapors.” Then admitting she wasn’t sure if that was the right word, she joked about Siri not being available to answer her question. She was trying to say the audience member’s compliments were making her lightheaded from how sweet they were. A few songs later a crew member popped onto stage with a piece of paper for her, which she announced had the Wikipedia definition for the vapors.

From Wikipedia, Vapors includes: “hysteria, mania, clinical depression, bipolar disorder, fainting, withdrawal syndrome, mood swings, or PMS, ascribed primarily to women and thought to be caused by internal emanations. This is related to the similar term female hysteria. Vapors were considered to be the female equivalent to melancholy found in men.”

She was distraught with the fact that it was about female hysteria. But then she read “a case of the vapors” is usually used for sarcastic or comic effect, which helped her justify her attempt at using it.

Then she tried to make the piece of paper into a paper airplane as she complained about how bad she was at making them. Finally, an audience member suggested she crumple it into a ball–which still only made it to the front row.

Before her popular “You and I” she told us one of the things she hates is when people call her “Cute.” “No! I am dark and twisted and sad”, she pleaded. And then she proceeded to sing, “Maybe I think you’re cute and funny. Maybe I wanna do what bunnies do with you, if you know what I mean”, and had a group spoon session with the lyrics, “But baby how we spoon like no one else.”

She played her top hit from Lights Out, “Girls Chase Boys”, and some of her other popular songs, including “The Way I Am.” But she slowed it down a lot with songs like, “Winter Song” (her duet with Sara Bareilles), “Ready to Lose,” and “Over You.”

While singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” she had to restart, because she messed up. “Wouldn’t it be great if you could start over at your jobs? Oh, excuse me; can we start this presentation over? Could we just resew this guy back up?” While it wasn’t an up-on-your-feet-dancing kind of show, it was still a great show. Her beautiful voice and quirky personality made for a great way to spend a Friday night.

For her encore, Ingrid and her band members sang “Warpath” along to a specific clapping pattern that she admitted to messing up often. She warned the audience not to clap along, because she would mess up and had to start over when someone in the front row clapped along anyway. She finished with “Afterlife”, inviting some audience members on stage to dance around them–including a middle aged woman who clearly had a few too many and kept trying to steal the microphone from one of the band members. 

Someone took “We’re going to live like there’s no tomorrow” a bit too seriously.