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Ingrid Michaelson and Mat Kearney Rock the Electric Factory

Ingrid and Mat

First of all, I’m not much of a music blogger, but since I love Ingrid Michaelson so much I figured I’d agree to blog about the amazing concert I went to see her perform on Friday March 19th at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia.
I first heard both Mat Kearney and Ingrid Michaelson on the TV show Grey’s Anatomy, and were both on one of the Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack CDs (I get a lot of my music from television and movie soundtracks—it’s a great way to get introduced to new music). Kearney even released a music video of “Breath In and Breath out” featuring scenes from Grey’s Anatomy that was released on Itunes for free. I became, I would say, addicted to Michaelson, however, after listening to “You and I” several times with my roommates, and singing along. When I learned about her playing a concert in Philadelphia—I just knew we had to go.

After prepping for a long night of standing (because the Electric Factory is standing room only) and walking (it’s located on 8th street near Spring Garden—a fairly decent walk from the Broad St subway line), my friends Rachel, Sarah, and Michelle headed out, eager to get to the concert.

Ingrid Michaelson

We arrived fairly early (an hour before the concert started) and were able to get a space on the right hand side of the stage that was pretty close. The speakers were blasting a variety of music from Rhianna, Modest Mouse and the Verve that encouraged us to dance and have fun before the concert even started.
First up was the opening act Angel Taylor. While her music did seem pretty run of the mill to me (her style was kind of similar to Ingrid Michaelson’s, but more bland I guess), it was enjoyable. I really liked her cover of “Sex on Fire,” and thought it was an interesting and daring choice to make given her style, but extremely enjoyable.

A brief intermission followed, and then Mat Kearney came on stage. I hadn’t exactly remembered that I had heard him before the show (I forgot about his song on the Grey’s Anatomy until he performed “Breathe In and Breathe Out”). It was a good performance, but not particularly memorable (I think it would have been better had I heard more of his music before). His most memorable song was “Runaway Car” during which he got off stage and ran through the crowd (plus it’s a really catchy song).
“That’s the most I ran in 14 years,” Kearney said after the song. “Someone grabbed my butt like five times, although there’s not much there—it’s more like a joint.” I really appreciate when artists joke around and open up to their audiences. Michaelson did just that. After a half hour intermission (at which point our feet really ached—but it was totally worth it), she finally came on. She’s a very good performer, and got the audience involved a lot, which I really enjoyed. During her song “The Hat” she encouraged the audience to sing along to the chorus and do hand motions (making a heart above you head which turned to rain as she sung “I should tell you that you were my first love”.) She also had her entire band come up to the microphone to sing an acoustic version of “You and I” which felt very personal and warm.
Michaelson was very open, joking about various things. While she was waiting for her keyboard to be hooked up before the song “The Chain,” she talked about her various fears. “Excuse me—I can’t see them [the audience],” she says. “My other fear and I haven’t told this to an audience—It’s going to seem weird, but I’ll tell you anyway—was that my foot would fall off. But it would be a clean cut and I could see the bone. “[I had this dream] as a five year old.”
As for her finale, Michaelson and her band made a kind of odd choice to sing Brittany Spear’s “Toxic”, complete with the band doing the “Toxic” dance at the end while a recording of the music continued to dance. Although I’m definitely not a Spear’s fan, I still enjoyed it and thought it was a cool, unexpected way to end the show.
At the end, both Michaelson and Kearney came on and sang an encore with members of both bands. I would definitely recommend going to see them if you get the chance.

Kristen Gillette is a journalism major at Temple University. She loves blogging about music and concerts, however, as a college student, her budget prevents her from splurging on concerts and lots of CDs. Instead she blogs about her other loves, television and movies, at A TV And A Girl. Thanks Kristen!

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