Last night, I got to sing up onstage with Ingrid Michaelson at the Social. TWICE. Ahhhh!!!!! :):)
This is what happened:
First of all let me say to preface this that since the Hotel Cafe show at SXSW back in March, Ingrid has quickly become one of my favorite female singer/songwriters. Ever. And her song “The Chain” is my favorite of hers. By far.
Earlier in the day, I tried to track down the song “The Chain” by Ingrid. I had first heard her perform this song in her short set that she did in Austin, TX at SXSW this year. She, Allie Moss (her back up singer/friend) and Kate Havnevik (and I think Jessie Baylin, although I’m not positive) sang this GORGEOUS song. It was a round (you know, like when one person sings, then the other comes in, and then another: like Row, Row, Row Your Boat) and it quickly became my favorite Ingrid song. Suffice it to say, this is the song that made me fall in love with her music. And it’s not available ANYWHERE to download. She had it up on her myspace for awhile, but took it down recently. A couple of months ago, I listened to the thing over and over while at work. I wanted to listen to it today, but couldn’t find it ANYWHERE–not myspace, itunes, nowhere. It simply wasn’t available.
Anyway, Brenda, Becca and I got to the Social and as soon as I saw Ingrid’s stage set-up, as thrilled and excited as I was to be at the show, I was a tad disappointed because I saw she only had one back up singer (Allie Moss again). I realized that she probably wouldn’t sing “The Chain”, because you definitely need at least three female voices to sing it.
Halfway through her set, Ingrid said: “So, I wrote this song that’s a round called “The Chain.” Anybody heard of it? It was up on myspace for awhile.” She got a few hoots of recognition, but hardly anybody seemed to know it. “Thing is, we need at least one other person to sing it. Does anybody here know the song?”
I felt a burst of adrenaline and my hand shot up, then I timidly retracted. Ingrid obviously didn’t see me because we were to the far stage right side. My friend Becca who was with me grabbed my hand and pushed it up further, and yelled “She knows it!”
Ingrid turned her head in our direction and asked, “Really?” With a sly, fake-pompous attitude she asked “How much vocal training have you had?” A few answers shot through my brain: I had this inner dialogue with myself that sounded a little something like this: I could say I’m in a band. No, that’s just tacky and if I were in the audience and I heard someone else say “Actually, I’m in a band”, I would scoff derisively at them. I can try and be witty and say “I vocal train in the shower” but that’s kind of an overused joke. Hmm…or I could actually be HONEST and say I’ve taken a couple months worth of voice lessons or I–Instead of saying anything, I just kind of laughed nervously.
Despite my pathetic lack of wit, eloquence or even words, she said, “Get on up here.”
So I jumped up onstage in front of the where Allie was standing on stage right with her microphone. There was an extra mike stand and they told me I could take that one. Becca later told me that while I was adjusting the mike stand, apparently Ingrid said “Whoa, adjusting the mike stand. Impressive.” and I guess some people cheered at that, but I was kind of too nervous and in a daze to notice…
Allie pulled me aside and quickly ran through the chorus part that I was supposed to sing in like 10 seconds. I think she just wanted to make sure I could at least hold a tune so I wouldn’t completely ruin the song in the event that I sucked. Allie explained to me the song structure and told me when I should come in.
Ingrid asked me if I knew the words, and she made me say them with her;) The part that I sing as the round is:
So glide away and so be healed/(or soapy heels, depending on the version…haha;)
And promise not to promise anymore
And if you come around again
Then I will take the chain from off the door
Allie looked at Ingrid and smiled and said, “Yeah, she can sing it.”
So Ingrid began. I couldn’t believe this. This is like something out of a crazy awesome dream. I was nervous… My hands were shaking a bit. I hardly looked at Ingrid, because I was so afraid I’d mess up. I was just kind of looking at Allie because I knew she would cue me when to come in.
After Ingrid and Allie sang through the verses and choruses, Allie nodded at me to come in and I sang WITH them. There’s this part where the instruments drop out and it’s just the voices singing the chorus in a round.
It was seriously the most surreal thing to be singing my favorite song by the artist (who is one of my faves) up onstage into a freaking microphone with said-favorite artist WHO WROTE the song.
The audience went crazy. I think it’s best summed up in something one of the people said to me later: “We were all living vicariously through you. It was amazing!”
And to top it all off, Ingrid invited me back onstage for the final song! She looked through the audience and said “Where’s Melissa? Let’s get her back up here.”
I protested, saying I didn’t even know the song, but Ingrid said it was really simple and that she was going to teach all of us.
So I hopped back up onstage and Allie shared her mike with me. I honestly can’t even remember the words or the melody or even the name of the song we did, but it was so incredibly fun to stand up there and just sing my heart out. And then at the end, we all bowed together like they do in theatre.
And that was it:)
Seriously, one of the craziest awesome things that has ever happened to me musically.
Me singing with Allie during “The Chain.” Haha you can tell by my face how nervous I am. Note: Becca told me that shutter only opened halfway on the pictures during this song, sadly.
Overall, it was an AMAZING show. Ingrid really is the whole package–she’s a brilliant songwriter, an amazing vocalist, achingly funny, bluntly honest, creative, down-to-earth. She excels at establishing a personal connection with the audience. Very hard to do at all, and she does it so well.
Haha wish they would let me tour with them just to sing that one song.
I totally would. haha;)