Michaelson Sasses It Up and Still Wins the Crowd


This time yesterday I could only sing exactly two words of one Ingrid Michaelson song: "be OK, be OK, be OK ..."

I'm not what you call a fan. A friend wanted to go to her show at the Knitting Factory last night and I obliged begrudgingly, counting on beer to get me through the night.

But surprisingly, it ended up being Michaelson's sass that got me through.

At one point in the show, solo and seated at her piano, Michaelson gave into the shouted questions from the crowd, saying that nope she's not engaged and if she was she wouldn't share it with a room of 700 and she got her glasses at a boutique in Brooklyn—preceded two very funny moments: when she said all screaming women sound exactly the same (somewhere around an E) and then pointed to one lady specifically and said, "Let's play the game where I lock your cute little lips and put the key in my cleavage and then you're quiet until I unlock them again."

Michaelson should have used the lip locking trick with several dozen people at the show. Leaving the center stage floor area for the upstairs, I actually told two ladies—who were intensely and loudly talking about the trials and tribulations of their love lives fewer than 10 feet from stage—that we were leaving because all we could hear was them.

Rather than continue to fight the loud crowd (which stopped her a few measures into a song only once), Michaelson took all in stride and invited the audience to sing along in a few call-and-returns. And other times she just got downright goofy. She and the band played "Locked Up" in full and then turned around and played the thing all over again in double time, after which Michaelson joked about her "boobs shaking" too much when they play it that fast.

She promised more serious matters after that one and the band launched into the first few notes of "The Way I Am," only to have Michaelson bust out with first the lyrics to Vanilla Ice's "Ice, Ice Baby" and then do a little DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. She did eventually get to "The Way I Am," but she made the audience work for it.

Ingrid Michaelson at Knitting Factory from Boise Weekly on Vimeo.

The grand finale? Check out the above clip. Michaelson promises an encore but says she and the band aren't going to go offstage and hang out in the green room. Instead, they're going to hide onstage and "return."

Which is exactly what they did: Launch into "Maybe." The whole band hides on stage (which includes the drummer on all fours trying to hide behind one drum stick). We clap loudly. They "return." Michaelson delivers "Maybe"—one of her most popular songs to date—with altered lyrics about the band's love of Mexican food. "Burrito ... taco ... quesadilla ..."

All in all, not a bad show.