Ingrid Michaelson | Photo by Cameron Pollack |

To say that Ingrid Michaelson gets better every time I see her is in no way an understatement. Over the past year, this is the fifth time I’ve caught her live; you think I would have seen everything, but you would have thought wrong. She throws in new (though equally beloved) songs, always makes sure to love her band in the most creative ways possible, and with this week’s Mann Center appearance being the last show of her Summer Night Out tour, antics were sure to occur. Occur they did.

The first surprise came during her first song, “Time Machine,” a song that always has her fans belting along to the chorus. During the choruses, she would hand off the mic to various members of the band, including backup vocalist and guitarist Allie Moss, and lead guitarist Billy Libby. The second set of surprises came later in the set, when she played both “Overboard” and “Keep Breathing,” two songs that I deeply adore and had never seen done at an Ingrid show. Needless to say, both songs were beautiful live. Another highlight was when Ingrid brought out Bess Rogers of Secret Someones (who I’ll discuss later), and she, Bess, and Allie Moss covered Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love,” a personal favorite song of mine.

Jukebox the Ghost | Photo by Cameron Pollack |

Jukebox the Ghost played an energized opening set, then joined Ingrid onstage later in the show | Photo by Cameron Pollack |

During fan-favorite “You and I,” after the lyric “but baby how we spoon like no one else,” the band generally gets together and forms one giant standing cuddle-puddle on stage. This happened. What I didn’t predict was that opening band Jukebox The Ghost would join them… as well as Secret Someones… as well as the entire Ingrid crew. In addition, plastic spoons somehow found their way into Ingrid’s hands, and she proceeded (after begging from the pit) to throw them at the audience. My personal favorite song of the night was Soldier (off of the album Everybody), because not only is it a great song in its own right, they actually managed to weave in not one, but five covers into the song, including “Ghost,” “Undone (The Sweater Song),” “With Or Without You,” “Call Me Maybe” and Poker Face. The highlights didn’t stop there; after a few of her most popular songs – “Warpath,” “Afterlife” and “Girls Chase Boys” – she took a short break before one of the most incredible encores I’ve ever seen.

A giant posterboard Ingrid Michaelson head somehow made its way onstage | Photo by Cameron Pollack |

Ingrid Michaelson | Photo by Cameron Pollack |

The encore began with a cover of Elvis Presley’s timeless “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” to celebrate the Supreme Court’s historic 5-4 decision to strike down all remaining bans on gay marriage. Next came “Fire,” the leadoff track from her album Human Again, which ended in the entire band, plus the crew, plus broadway actor Will Chase, all banging either floor tom drums or paint buckets. After about two minutes of drumming, they segued into an incredible cover of Icona Pop’s “I Love It,” in which all hell broke loose, both opening bands rushed on stage and started playing seemingly every instrument, and a gargantuan poster board Ingrid Michaelson head also somehow found it’s way onto the stage.

Somehow, out of an already incredible show, Ingrid managed to outdo herself again. I came in expecting to see a repeat of some show, and I came out with something considerably wackier than I had expected.

Joining Ingrid was Jukebox The Ghost, a DC piano-based power trio who undoubtedly impressed. Their songwriting is catchy almost to a fault, with songs like “Hollywood” and “Sound Of A Broken Heart” getting the crowd dancing, and the emotional ballad “Undeniable You,” coupled with singer/pianist Ben Thornewill’s expert use of a loop pedal brought tears to more than a few people’s eyes. Prior to Jukebox were Brooklyn rockers Secret Someones, co-fronted by Bess Rogers, a former member of Ingrid’s band. The song “I Won’t Follow” rocked beyond measure, and it’s definitely a song I would recommend playing on repeat.

Check out photos from the show in the gallery below!