If you bought tickets to Ingrid Michaelson’s concert last Saturday night thinking you were her only fans (I’m talking about you, annoying girls in line in front of me), you were immediately proven wrong. The line for the show went all the way from the Hub’s main entrance to Storke Tower. It’s obvious that word of Ingrid Michaelson’s talent is known among UCSB coeds, making a ticket to her concert last Saturday night a hot commodity.

One of the great things about concerts at the Hub is that they have a smaller, more intimate feel to them; Michaelson immediately picked up on this. She started off her night rambling about how skimpy the guard rails were between herself and the audience, and how frighteningly excited we all were to see her.

“If it were up to you, you’d have your way with my body parts back at your dorms!” she joked.

My first reaction: “Awkward! This should be an interesting concert!” But after taking a little time to ease into things, Ingrid seemed to be right at home. She very promptly divided the crowd into two groups, “sexy people” and “gentle lovers,” and then proceeded to play the part of the enthusiastic conductor, directing us when to sing and clap to the chorus of her songs. The audience participation portions were very well-received by the crowd and gave the concert a lively energy.

As the night continued, Ingrid’s relatable onstage presence only grew. She fit the stereotype of a theater major perfectly — this was her major while attending Binghamton University in New York — with her constant joke-cracking and quirky comments. Her ad-libbed inclusion of lyrics from “Ice Ice Baby” and the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” theme song were met with great applause from the audience.

She may have been a ham onstage who laughed at her own forgetfulness of her lyrics and sang about Mexican foods that sound like “vagina” (e.g. “fajita”), but after listening to the aural depth and emotional profundity of her lyrics, it’d hard not to wonder if there’s more to Michaelson than that tough-girl, love-can’t-hurt-me façade she puts on while in concert.
Possibly Ingrid’s biggest talent is her ability to tap into the pains of love and breaking up we’ve all experienced. It’s her relatability, both musically and personally, that’s causing her rise in fame and popularity, even despite her lack of signing with a major record corporation.

There is such psychological depth and practicality to her music that nearly everyone can relate to it in some way. And honestly, I was surprised such songs came from such a seemingly up-beat, peppy, class-clown, type-A person. She had the ability to be cracking jokes one minute then giving somber advice the next.

Sure, they’re all rather sad and very pessimistic and completely anti-romantic, but they speak the truth of how relationships come and go and usually end rather painfully. You won’t see any of the hearts and Cupids and kiss marks that clutter so many other modern pop love songs here!

With her impeccable range, vocal control, superb harmonizing with bassist and background vocalist Allie Moss and truthfully plain and sobering songs, Michaelson’s performance was possibly one of the best the Hub has seen in a while. I’m hoping she’ll be back in Santa Barbara sometime soon.