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Ingrid Michaelson shines at 9:30 Club

The lights flickered from red to orange as instrumentalists strummed their electric guitars and banged on their drums at the start of “Fire,” Ingrid Michaelson’s opening song.

Indie-pop singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson sings "Black and Blue" from "Human Again," her most recent album. Michaelson performed at the 9:30 Club in D.C. May 9. Photo courtesy Yael Caplan.

Indie singer and songwriter Ingrid Michaelson’s performance was stellar at the 9:30 Club May 9. Using a variety of instruments ranging from the piano to the ukulele, Michaelson performed songs from her new album, “Human Again,” in addition to older songs, or ‘oldies,’ as she calls them.

During her two hour long set, Michaelson’s personality shined through with her quirky jokes and genuine facial expressions.  She set the mood perfectly by smiling for happy, upbeat songs like  “The Way I Am” and keeping a deep, thoughtful tone for more serious songs like “Ghost.” Between songs, Michaelson kept the concert lively by dancing with the microphone stand and telling absurd and entertaining stories that made the audience roar with laughter.

“I smell toast. Does anyone else smell toast? Isn’t that what you smell before you have a heart attack?” she said. “Well I’m either really hungry or I’m about to die.”

Though she left out classics like “Maybe” or “You & I” during the main concert, she performed them wonderfully during the encore, making them worth the wait.

In keeping with the more intimate mood of the concert, during “You & I,” all the backup singers and musicians came up together in the middle of the stage and put their arms around each other, singing along with Michaelson as she played the ukulele.

Michaelson’s friendly manner with the audience made her likeable and easy to relate to. She seemed like someone anyone could be friends with, as opposed to a haughty celebrity with no time for her fans. The small and personal setting of the 9:30 Club made the concert feel less like a sold-out show and more like a coffeehouse act.

The intimacy of the 9:30 Club and Michaelson’s casual and cheerful manner made the high-energy, well-executed concert even better. The audience responded with enthusiastic promises and cheers of agreement as she ended with a final question: “If I come back, will you come back?”

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