Friday, October 15, 2010
Last night I saw singer/songwriter Ingrid Michaelson at the 9:30 Club in D.C. I was fortunate enough to be able to purchase the "Ingrid's Top Ten" package, which allows 10 fans at each tour stop to attend the soundcheck and to have a "Meet and Greet" with Ingrid. The day before the show I received an e-mail from Ingrid's management that informed me that in order to attend soundcheck, I needed to be at the 9:30 Club no later than 4:00 pm. No small feat since I woke up the morning of the show in Duluth, MN. Luckily all my flights were on time and I made it home with plenty of time to spare.
At the appointed time, me and my fellow meet-n-greeters (eight 20-something women, which prompted Ingrid to note "One of these things is not like the others") were ushered into the club, where a spread of pizza, salad, deserts, and non-alcoholic beverages had been laid out for us. We were given laminated "Ingrid's Top Ten" credentials, a poster, and a set list for the evening's show, all of which were later autographed by Ingrid. Sound check was interesting to see - though a more tedious process than I imagined - the first 30 minutes were spent soley on setting the correct drum levels. During this part of the check Ingrid posed for pics with us. After sound check we had to leave the club until the official doors opening time, but we were put at the front of the line for re-admittance.
Ingrid with guitarist Bess Rogers
The Irish duo "Guggenheim Grotto" opened the evening with a set that was well-received by the sold out crowd. However the energy was cranked way up when Ingrid and her band, clad in floor-length dark robes, entered to Led Zepplin's "Immigrant Song". Casting aside the robes, the band launched directly into "Soldier", off her 2009 album, Everybody. From there Michaelson cruised through a 17 song, 90 minute set that was full of her trademark stories and self-deprecating wit. Highlights included a stunning instrument-free cover of REM's "Night Swimming", which Ingrid performed alone on stage, after first using a looping pedal to set a vocal melody track which she then sang over. For most of the audience every song was a highlight, as evidenced by the enthusiastic sing-alongs. The ground she covered was familiar, and included fan-favorites "Breakable", "Everybody", "You and I", "The Chain". and "Maybe". As when I saw her in July at the Denver stop on the Lilith Fair tour, she closed with a tongue-in-cheek cover of Britney Spears' "Toxic", and performed "Be Okay" and a revved up punk version of "The Way I Am" as encores.
Ingrid Michaelson at 9:30 Club, 10/14/10
Ingrid and her band (l-r, Chris Kuffner, Elliot Jacobson, ? , Bess Rogers, Allie Moss)