As I sat down to enjoy my third Ingrid Michaelson concert I was struck with many feelings and emotions. I have seen her twice before in two very different venues so I was aware of the fact that the atmosphere of the venue changes the mood of the show immensely. At the Charleston Music Hall the concert seemed more subdued and low-key than it could have been. When singing songs off her newest album Lights Out, which has a more pop vibe than any of her past albums, Michaelson pulled out her trademark ukulele and changed the feeling of some of her songs. She turned “Home” from an upbeat positive song to a mellow song full of what almost felt like longing. Her song “Warpath” which on the album feels somewhat like a rock song was stripped down to an acapella version that was more moving than the original. She did sing some of her songs in their original style. Her favorite song off of Human Again called “How We Love” was performed in a very similar style to that of the recorded version. The same was true about her song “Giving Up”. Both of these songs, two of my favorites, are very simplistic and are more about the words as opposed to the musical background, so when they are performed live they transform from songs to emotional stories.
One of my favorite things about Ingrid is her personality. She is a little ball of energy when she performs and her joy and good energy is intoxicating and palpable. This is evident in her performance of “You and I”. Both times I have seen her perform this song she has done the same adorable thing with her adorable band. The group came together as a whole and sang the song with only her ukulele for instrumental support. They really did spoon like no one else when they participated in a delightfully awkward standing cuddle session in the middle of the song. They then broke the hug and finished the song with the help of the entire audience who seemed to be having a wonderful time. Michaelson’s relatable and funny personality is what makes her concerts so entertaining and enjoyable.
As a huge Ingrid fan, I have a lot of emotional connections to many of her songs. Whenever I hear any songs off her album Human Again I am transported back two years to the week I spent at a cabin on a lake with my best friends. I have laid such emotional claim to a lot of Ingrid’s music because of a multitude of reasons. When I heard the aforementioned song “Home” it seemed to me like she was longing for something because maybe I was longing for something too. That song makes me think of my best friends. It brings to mind Megan’s smile, and Katie’s laugh, Cassidy’s amazing jokes, Eli’s in depth analysis of the lighting choices made in a scene in a film, and Garrett’s outward love for Patina Miller. Listening to Ingrid makes me feel like I am with them. They are my family and they are my home, so when I hear “this is my home, where I go when I’ve got nowhere else to go… where I go when I don’t know where else to go” I think of people rather than a place. My friends are my home and through the power of music, Ingrid is part of my home too.