warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Ingrid Michaelson Hosts Intimate Pop-Up Show

Ariana Shives |
April 10, 2014 | 6:29 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Neon Tommy/Ariana Shives
Neon Tommy/Ariana Shives
After waiting outside in the cemetery for nearly an hour and a half, it’s safe to say my roommate and I didn’t have high hopes for Ingrid Michaelson’s self-proclaimed “pop-up show” at the Hollywood Forever Masonic Lodge last night.  When she finally took the stage, though, we were hooked.  The crowd of less than 200 sat in a small room in the lodge, with large rustic chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, low lighting and cozy seating a mere two feet from where Ingrid’s band took an equally cozy makeshift stage.

After a breathtaking rendition of “Warpath," off of her new album Lights Out, Ingrid introduced her band — including a brand new guitarist.  So new, in fact, that we “popped his show cherry”, as she put it.  The show was punctuated by stories and giggling from the hilariously awkward singer, who had the small audience at the edge of their seats from the first beat to the last.

“We’re gonna play another new one,” Ingrid said, and the crowd oooh’ed as she played the first couple of chords.  “Just kidding, wrote this one with Sacagewea back in 1857,” she said as she launched into a spectacular rendition of “The Way I Am”.  “That’s my hit, according to my mom,” she finished.

The crowd sat still, giggling, but entranced, until “Girls Chase Boys” came on and prompted collective seat dancing a-la Taylor Swift.  A mashup of “Everybody” and “You and I” got the intimate audience feeling nostalgic before we were asked for our participation in harmonizing “Afterlife” because “it’s not an Ingrid Michaelson show unless the audience sings.”  Then, Ingrid sat down to tell us more about her album.

“This is my album party, so I hope you’ll indulge me a little,” she said timidly and the audience happily obliged.  Ingrid told us of the sickness she incurred during the album’s creation, which nearly halted production indefinitely, and of the way it inspired her to pull a George Costanza-esque switch of routine and collaborate with a multitude of writers and producers.  “Ironically,” she said, “that made this the most personal album I’ve had yet.”  “Home," she said, really embodied that for her.

The band then left the stage and the crowd leaned in further for what felt like a gathering of friends spearheaded by Ingrid, who was now seated at the keyboard for a majestic “Falling In Love."  Afterwards, we got to hear one more new song and finally, for her last storytelling hour, Ingrid launched into a hysterical narrative about the time she drunkenly met her idol Michael Stipe after playing in a tribute concert to his band R.E.M. at Carnegie Hall.  She then kicked off her shoes and used a looping pedal to perform a breathtaking cover of “Nightswimming” that continued to send chills up and down my spine for an hour afterwards.

Ingrid’s (I feel like we are on a first name basis because of the intimacy of this night) quirky humor and angelic voice, coupled with the friendly atmosphere and eager audience made for a perfectly intimate “pop-up” concert.

Reach Staff Reporter Ariana Shives here.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.