New Yorker Ingrid Michaelson made her first trip to Australia this past week to perform four shows in Queensland, New South Wales and Melbourne. I was lucky enough to get tickets to the Melbourne show, which was held at The Corner Hotel, in Richmond ( place I haven't been to since I was about 16 years old - man, I feel old). The band room she performed in was probably slightly bigger than my house, so it was a nice intimate venue for the gig.
Michaelson only performed with two band members, which created a low-key, comfortable vibe between her and the crowd. Largely performing songs from her 2009 album, Everybody, Michaelson kept the energy of the set upbeat and entertaining, providing witty anecdotes as introductions to each tune and inviting the audience to participate with her during the choruses (with bonus hand actions - the ironic jazz hands were a favourite). Her acerbic wit and quirky personality clicked with the crowd (how can you not love someone who references Dawson's Creek, Britney Spears and an ill-fated pet hamster story in the space of an hour?), and during the first song of the set she included a mash up of one of Lady GaGa's hits, which was greeted with cheers of appreciation.
Other crowd favourites during the set included her hits The Way I Am, Keep Breathing and the adorable You and I from previous albums. Her cover of Radiohead's Creep made a lot of people lose their shit (that link is from an Atlanta gig in the States), and the final number of the evening was her at a keyboard performing Elvis Presley's Can't Help Falling in Love which was absolutely perfect - soft and sweet and slightly melancholy (this version from youtube does not even do it justice, not one tiny little bit). From start to finish, the entire set was a wonderful ride through the emotions of betrayal, longing, friendship and love, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable ninety minutes.
If Ingrid Michaelson ever performs at a venue near you, I highly recommend you check her out. It was possibly one of the best performances I've seen in recent years, and I'm surprised more people in Australia haven't heard of her by now.
In a word: amazing.