Sometimes it takes me longer to come up with a review’s headline than it does to write it. One does not want to repeat oneself, there’s only so many times a band can “rock up”, “thrill”, “rule” etc. So little did I know when I used “Light up” to title Opeth’s review earlier this week that I would be sabotage by none other than Ingrid Michaelson. The NY singer released her 7th album “It Doesn’t Have To Make Sense” in August and started her “Hell No” tour that stopped at the Northrop last night.
Starting the evening was NY band AJR. Made up of brothers Adam, Jack and Ryan Met, the band just released a new EP “What Everybody’s Thinking” in September. I’m not sure what stories they are telling about Minnesota in NYC but singer Jack was ready for winter with his fur hat. The trio had some good success with “I’m Ready” and their new single “I’m not famous” seems to work well too. Their stage presence is a bit quirky and likeable. They judged their opening applause a 3-4 and encourage the audience to get to 10 by the end of their set. Overall a cool pop band and a nice way to start the evening.
Unlike Yoda’s warnings that pain and suffering lead to the dark side, with artists it sometimes leads to great results. I am happy to report that Ingrid Michaelson has not turned into a Sith Lord despite the all black outfit that according to her to tape, wires and a whole bunch of things to get into. The outfit and her set are a change from her flowery/pink look just last year. In “It Doesn’t Have To Make Sense” deals with her recent struggles with the death of her mother, her dog and divorce and the results are deep, beautiful songs that reflect her pain but also show her will to keep going.
Michaelson opened her set with “Light me Up” starting in near darkness and bringing a spotlight on her at the chorus. And that’s the moment I thought to myself: “Ah, crap! How can I not use this as a headline?”. Through her set Michaelson chatted with her fans between songs displaying the sense of humor that’s a signature of her show. A good mix of old and new songs, some covers and of course her ukulele. After all her struggles Ingrid Michaelson is going strong and her fans are enjoying the results of her journey.
Set List: Light Me Up / Time Machine / Maybe / Parachute / Another Life / Corner of Your Heart / How We Love / I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You / The Way I Am / Be OK / Lotto (with AJR) / You and I / Warpath / Afterlife / Turn to Stone / Still the One / Celebrate / Hell No Encore: Girls Chase Boys / I’m Too Sexy