Pop singer/songwriter Ingrid Michaelson and her band of bandits brought their caravan of musicians to Central Park SummerStage on Wednesday. The perfect weather here in the city this week could only be matched by delicious wine (I know, this isn’t Pancakes & Wine) and really good musical performances. I’ve never seen Ingrid live before but she’s got such catchy singles! How could I pass up the opportunity to see one of the more promising singer/songwriters in music rising up the ranks?

The former Staten Islander was in town as part of her North American tour supporting her recent album Lights Out, which was released back in the spring. Starting out the night I was blown away by the talent and musical ability of the first act of the evening in Secret Someones. With exception of the drummer, the all-female band gave the near sell-out crowd relief in that there’s an impressive emergence in female-led rock music coming from the ashes of rock. All is not lost. They’ll be playing at Brooklyn Bazaar on Saturday if you wanna check ‘em out.

Ingrid’s talent is showcased in lyrics and melodies she writes that are not only catchy and easy on the ears, but carry in-depth meaning and emotions within their background. Her ability to sound as impressive live as she does in the studio is something that shouldn’t be overlooked as an entertainer. During her hour and forty-five minute set, she playfully and energetically thrilled the crowd with songs from her current album and her hits that we all love hearing in those ABC Family high school shows and puppy commercials. One thing she does so effortlessly is have fun on stage. She doesn’t pretend to be some Godly star up there, but rather a musician who simply enjoys playing music with her talented and tight knit backing band.

As she ran through songs like ‘The Way I Am’, ‘Be OK’, ‘Girls Chase Boys’, and a romantic cover of ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’, you couldn’t help but notice how she has made the transition from simple singer/songwriter playing solo acoustic shows in coffee houses, to a full-fledge performer who can take her innocent, quirky voice and make an entire five thousand seat venue dance with her. Of course we can’t get by without help from our friends, as she was joined on stage throughout the night by musical friends including Darren Criss, and former Journey singer Steve (wait for it) Augeri, in her encore performance of Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’. Even Taylor Swift made an appearance at the end of the show as her and all members from opening acts joined her and her band on stage in a We Are the World kind of ending to the show.

My first time seeing Ingrid didn’t surpass any expectations I already had going in. I just needed to experience it for myself. You know you’re a great entertainer when you can keep my focus solely on you for almost two hours, without being distracted that Jon Hamm and Allison Williams are standing right behind you.

Article by: Tom Shackleford

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