Ingrid Michaelson Fills Fitzgerald with Christmas Cheer and Fraser Fir

Ingrid Michaelson at the Northrop

For starters and something that isn’t entirely relevant to the show – Ingrid Michaelson’s dress was absolutely adorable. I’m not sure if this is even possible, but if ANYONE can give me the details as to where she got it that would be greatly appreciated. I see it being my holiday outfit for this year!

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania musician, Jenna Nicholls, started the evening at 7:30 sharp immediately impressing the audience with her unique, versatile vocals. Having released her record, “Radio Parade”, earlier this year a majority of her songs were from this album. However, she did play a few from an earlier album released in 2008, “Curled Up Toes in Red Mary Janes”. To start her set, Nicholls played “Dirty Old Town”, “Back to You”, and “Piggy” which soon showed show goers that she would be taking us back to the 1920’s, ukulele and all. Right away I found myself thinking that she was the perfect opening artist for Michaelson as they complement one another very nicely. Nicholls has a wonderful, quirky sense of humor similar to Michaelson, and to show the crowd this Nicholls shared her reasoning for her song about men in eyewear as that’s one of the main things she’s found herself being attracted to on a male. The song was about exactly that, and Nicholls got a large applause from the audience at its conclusion. For the second part of her set, Nicholls played songs such as “Out to Sea” which was written for her best friend Margaret, “Take Me out Tonight”, and “Edelweiss” from the 1965 movie “Sound of Music”. Nicholls sang through the song once, and then had the crowd join in on the second round. It was really amazing hearing everyone sing along, and with the size of the Fitzgerald Theatre you were able to realize how many people were actually in attendance as the room filled with voices. To conclude her set, she played Kay Star’s 1952 song, “Lull in My Life”, with no instruments and “Holy Moses”.

And for Miss Ingrid Michaelson, someone who has been one of my favorites for as long as I can remember, she started the evening right around 8:40, opening with a cover of Bing Crosby’s “Looks like a Cold, Cold Winter” which was quickly followed by a cover of Vaughn Monroe’s “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” Michaelson then took the time to greet the crowd, introduce the other two women in her trio (Allie & Hannah), and set a wonderful, comical precedence for the evening that would soon follow. The trio then gathered in the center of the stage to share one microphone, and sing “Mele Kalikimaka” with minimal instruments. It was at this point in time that I realized how well their voices harmonized – it was incredible! Michaelson then played a few songs from previous albums such as “Be OK”, “Miss America”, and “How We Love”. After a brief chat with the crowd, she brought out boyfriend, Will Chase, who soon began to sing a cover of Bing Crosby’s “I’ll be Home for Christmas” which was quickly followed by “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”. I loved hearing them sing together as they worked very well, and the chemistry present was undeniable. Chase then exited stage, and Michaelson sang “Fools Rush In” while playing the piano. This was likely one of my favorite parts of the evening because you really got to listen to Michaelson’s incredible voice, and I’ve just always loved this song.

For the second part of her set she played song that was created and sang with Sara Bareilles “Winter Song”, “Maybe”, and then transferred back into a few Christmas songs. I loved their outfits, and the 1920s vibe the whole evening presented. The Fitzgerald Theatre definitely helped set the overall mood and atmosphere for a show like this as well; meaning it was the perfect choice. Before her encore Michaelson played an assortment of songs that I’m sure were on many fans in attendance wish lists’ to hear that evening. The songs played were, “The Chain”, “The Way I am”, and “Girls Chase Boys”. Once again the entire crowd was singing along, and when “Girls Chase Boys” began everyone stood up and the room was full of happiness and dancing. I really enjoyed seeing everyone come together in the way they did Wednesday evening. After promising that she would return, Michaelson left the stage to excite the crowd, before entering again for her encore. Michaelson then sang Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” while playing the piano – it was absolutely amazing. I always thought that this song was seemingly happy, but Michaelson described a whole new meaning and I think it makes the song that much better. I find it interesting and intriguing when songs can have many different meanings. At the conclusion of the show, everyone came on stage, and as a group they sang “Auld Lang Syne” before saying farewell.

Wednesday evening was so enjoyable – I honestly have no complaints. The Fitzgerald Theatre was the perfect venue for this show as it created an intimate, “homey” atmosphere (props to the leg room and Michaelson’s Fraser Fir candles). Michaelson is such a wonderful person to watch perform, and I love how she really interacts with the crowd. You can tell that she’s being real, and herself which I think is really great. I enjoy her quirkiness, and sense of humor as I’m sure other fans did as well. Jenna Nicholls is definitely in my own personal music library now as she’s so talented, and I’m very happy I had the opportunity to see her perform. As I mentioned previously, Michaelson and Nicholls complement one another very well, and I don’t think there could have been a better match for a tour. I seemingly get lucky with my shows as I always enjoy them; ladies, until next time. I can’t wait till you come through again! Happy Holidays!