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Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Ingrid Michaelson comes to Clifton Park: I'll take her the way she is

You’ve heard Ingrid Michaelson’s songs even if you don’t know her, because her music has been in TV shows and commercials. She is a wonderful pop-singer/songwriter with a crisp, distinctive voice and music and lyrics that appeal to people of all ages – though the vast majority of the 800 or so people at Upstate Concert Hall May 27 were 25 or younger. I expected to be the oldest, at 60, though I think I was beat by a white-haired Williams College professor.
I figured that a 6:30 p.m. concert on a Tuesday night would have me home by 9. Ha! The doors opened close to 6:30 and there were two opening acts (Storyman and Sugar and the Hi Lows), so it was 9:20 before Michaelson and her five-person band appeared. 
She was worth the wait, and we stayed until the third encore at about 11 p.m., in time to catch the tail end of a torrential downpour.
This was my first time at Clifton Park’s Upstate Concert Hall – formerly known as Northern Lights – and only my second time at a standing-room-only indoor concert. The first was to see The Hold Steady at WAMC’s The Linda in downtown Albany. My husband and I were happy in the back, where we could lean against a wall.
My pal Peggy and I got luckier at Upstate Concert Hall. We waited in line for an hour for the doors to open (plenty of time to overhear college girls gripe about parents, boys and absent friends), and when the 50 or so people ahead of us staked out their space at the foot of the stage, we claimed two spaces on a padded bench toward the rear but still only thirty feet or so from the elevated stage.  Five or six other “old people” joined us. During Michaelson’s performance, we stood on the bench for a fairly unobstructed view.
She sang a mix of new and old songs, including my favorite “The Way I Am.” She was personable and just the right amount of chatty. She shared a funny story with the audience about her father telling her she was mentioned on TV by JayLo, who said an American Idol singer had taken one of Michaelson’s covers to a new level. Then she showed them a thing or two.
Peggy and her daughter Sophie and I had seen Michaelson two years ago in a sold-out concert at The Egg in Albany. Definitely an older crowd in the Egg than at Upstate Concert Hall, but both were enthusiastic and UCH may have the Egg crowd beat. I'm glad I was part of both.


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