Ingrid Michaelson at The Academy on the 14th of November 2012

Ingrid Michaelson was once described by Billboard Magazine as “the new paradigm” in the music industry as she has always resisted the temptation to sign to a large record label, instead choosing to go it alone on her own label. As the lone music ranger, she has enjoyed wide-scale success with her five studio-recorded albums. Having played to a small crowd in The Academy 2 back in 2010, to more recently playing Whelans earlier this year. It was at Whelans she said, she experienced her first ever non-encore as the crowd were more interested in booze than seeing young Ingrid return to the stage, well now she was back to our shores to hopefully perform that long overdue encore.

Ingrid came to the stage with what must have been the smallest on-stage set up in recent memory for The Academy. Ingrid herself was flanked by her “two best friends” who accompanied on bass, guitar and ukulele. Any worries about the stripped back nature of the on-stage output were soon put to bed as Palm of Your Hand both thrilled and impressed in equal measures. It was clear from the outset that this show was to be driven and maintained solely on the impressive vocal range and power that Ms. Michaelson possesses. Soldier from 2009 album ‘Everybody’ further proves this case as Ingrid’s vocals, like her, take center stage for the night.

At points during the night, you wouldn’t be mad for thinking that you had found your way into a comedy gig as Ingrid takes long breaks between songs as she sprouts comedy gold to the crowd. Some breaks near the 3-5 minute mark as she interacts with the crowd. Some artists don’t interact at all, some artists bore between songs but Ingrid has struck the perfect balance and reigns in the long gaps between songs just before they become tedious. How can you not appreciate a stab at Ashley Cole before she launches into her self penned, Cheryl Cole hit, Parachutes. Ingrid has written songs for many artists through the years and I’m sure, just as was showcased tonight, she can probably sing them much better than the new recipient of the song. Ingrid delivers a beautiful and powerful rendition of Parachutes as the lyrics hold more meaning and resonance to her as the songwriter.

Ghost brings about a darker and deeper set of lyrics that haunt and float around The Academy air. Ingrid however, is quick to supersede the doom and gloom on offer with this delightful quip: “It’s like dessert; there’s always more room left for deep, terrible depression”. The quirky musings of the peculiar love song – The Way I Am, follow before the eerily superb and highlight for the night Winter Song comes along and shakes the gig goers to the core. The stripped back nature of the performance is perfectly situated in the confines of this song as the lyrics, and minimal piano and guitar elements blend effortlessly to deliver this stunning piece of musicianship.

The night would then take a momentary dip as Ingrid plays through This Is War, Skinny Love and an interesting Black and Blue; a choppy and catchy number that just begs to break free from the confines of the nights three-piece set up. One of the most forgettable songs of the night is The Chain before Ingrid leaves the stage. Any concerns of a repeat non-encore were saved by Ingrid’s coaching of the Dublin crowd that went something like; “I’m going to leave the stage now, wait behind that door. You’re going to scream for like 3 minutes and then we’ll return looking all surprised and gracious”. Well lo and behold, the pre-rehearsed drama soon becomes reality as Ingrid brings out her best Taylor Swift “shocked face” moments later.

Be OK gives the Academy the opportunity to deploy their voices in harmony (not quite) with Ingrid before the special ukulele driven and feet stomping You and I ends this night of soaring interaction, sweet vocals and laughter. Hey Ingrid, a little tip for you; if this whole successful music career comes to an end, get into comedy – it’s working out well for Cheryl Cole.