Culture Room was crowded with women to see Ingrid Michaelson last night except for a few dates or chaperones. The room was buzzing with excitement to see the songstress sing in such an intimate space. The place was packed even an hour before showtime, and by the time the show began.
Greg Holden took the stage first, and although he had to earn it, he warmed up the crowd by the second song on his setlist. The room started swooning because that's what a Scottish accent will do to an American. Each and every song the singer performed was packed with emotion with different messages about giving back, accepting yourself and others, and being grateful for what you have in life. The most impactful song of his set though was "Boys in the Street" a song he told the audience he wrote for friends of his who ran a charity called Everyone is Gay.
Even the toughest of people had to choke back tears as Holden told a particularly heartbreaking story. The song spoke of a father's struggle to accept his gay son, and by the end he does. That last chorus was a killer though and there were more than a few misty eyes in the room. The combination of Holden's gorgeous vocals, beautiful instrumentals provided by his bandmates, and soul-touching lyrics won us over completely.
A true down-to-earth guy, Holden came out after the show and hung out with his fans and bandmates posing for pictures and signing autographs and just making easy conversation with everyone around him. We spoke with him and his brothers who play with him about everything from his soul searching trip to India, the best coffee in South Florida, and the best beaches before wishing them a good flight and parting ways.
Fans were already pumped from Holden's strong performance and anxiously awaited Michaelson. When she showed up in an adorable pink dress and her signature glasses, the room went nuts. The energy was off the charts, making Michaelson glow. Her voice was just as incredible, if not better, live, and she thrilled her fans by playing just about every song they could have asked for including a great mix of old and new like "Maybe," "Parachute," "Everybody," "Time Machine," "Warpath," "The Way I Am," and "Afterlife."
She made easy conversation with the crowd and had us all laughing when we weren't crying at her incredible performance. At one point, the smell of marijuana was overwhelming, it's not like you can keep it a secret in a place that small and Michaelson just grinned and tapped her nose with a knowing look before cracking jokes about how it smelt "familiar and green."
Her fans are absolutely dedicated and one couple in the very front row even brought a handmade gift, a necklace from their 9-year-old daughter. Michaelson got a bit choked up as she accepted it from them and showed it to the crowd, explaining that this couple had been going to her shows for years. She could remember them coming when the one woman was pregnant nine years ago. She handed the jewelry off to someone for safekeeping and after a bit more gushing, continued on with the show.
Last night was the last stop on the Stripped Lights Out Tour, and Michaelson expressed how bittersweet that was. She also had the entire band together for the last performance, wowing fans with a beautiful cover of Radiohead's "Creep." Michaelson hit some massively impressive notes as she performed this particular song without the support of her band and to the sounds of weeping in the audience.
She gave the last song warning before coming back to a highly demanding crowd who begged for an encore. Michelson rewarded them with a gorgeous cover of " Can't Help Falling In Love." The room sang along, and she ended the show with her newest hit "Afterlife," inviting Holden and crew back on stage to sing along with her. They danced to the catchy tune.
The crowd was definitely on a natural kind of high (no sticky icky needed) by the time the indie goddess took her leave. She assured the crowd that they had been amazing and had offered her and Holden a warm welcome at this, their first time in Fort Lauderdale.