Ingrid Michaelson promo photo. Chick Rock That Punches Back

Norfolk, VA
August 2, 2012

When you think of female singer/songwriter musicians certain clichés come to mind. Songs about bad break ups with boyfriends, incessant crooning from an acoustic guitar or piano and maybe one song with a drumbeat, etc. Unfortunately for Ms. Michaelson she has been pigeon holed into this category. Luckily her music and live show far transcends all of that.

With the opening song "Fire" each band member thunderously pounded tom-tom drums during the shows intro when Ingrid took the stage she belted out the first lines of the song and the place erupted. Ingrid is no Sara Bareilles, Ingrid is not afraid to drench a song in fuel and blaze like she does with fury on "In the Sea". That said she did have her share of piano ballads "Corner of Your Heart" and acappella songs "You & I" but what sets her apart in a genre that at times sounds same-song-y is her genuineness.

Whether she is thanking the crowd for coming out on a rainy, muggy summer night with tears in her eyes or making up silly songs about the Olympics in general and volleyball specifically, you believe what she is saying. This authenticity makes it possible for her to play the minor key, heart wrenching song "Ghost" and receive somber applause from the audience and then get huge melancholy laughs when she cracks a joke about how being lonely sucks. Anyone who has been to an Ingrid live show knows that her comedic banter is just as stellar as her music. The key to this is that she is just naturally honest, will say whatever is on her mind and is free of indie-pretentiousness this comes in handy because some of her songs are quite dark; therefore, a bit of levity is needed from time to time.

Her melodies are often poppy but the lyrics are bloody-knuckle honest. "Palm of Your Hand" is one such song. You could get lost in the upbeat bounce of this song but the chorus always brings you back to reality.

“And oh boy I know boy
I need a breakdown
Can you crush me
In the palm of your hand
The palm of your hand
There's nobody else who can
You know you crush me in the palm of your hand.” 

Her energy throughout the night was amazing, when she did her version of Rhianna’s "We Found Love" the place was transformed into Club Michaelson and everyone lost their minds and grooved to the music. Every artist has that one hit they have to play no matter what show they do and for her it is "The Way I Am". You can tell when an artist is tired of playing the same song over and over again and I suspect this to be true of Ingrid because she transformed that simple ukulele based song into a raucous punk rock song which slew the crowd. In this day and age where quantized vocals and pop vapidness seem to reign, it is great to see an excellent group of musicians who can write poignant yet poppy songs and transform them into pure magic live. Even if you aren’t a fan of Ingrid Michaelson her live band alone is worth the price of admission.


1. Frie
2. Palm of Your Hand
3. Soldier
4. Parachute
5. Corner of Your Heart
6. Do It Now
7. Blood Brothers
8. You See the Light in Me (with Greg Laswell)
9. Ghost
10. The Way I Am (Acoustic)
11. Skinny Love (Bon Iver Cover)
12. In the Sea
13. This Is War
14. Black and Blue
15. We Found Love (Rihanna Cover)
16.The Way I Am (Punk Rock Version)


17. Maybe
18. Be Ok
19. You and I
20. The Chain

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