STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
After a few years of toiling in indie obscurity, singer/songwriter Ingrid Michaelson’s music started appearing in TV commercials, leading to mainstream hits with “Girls Chase Boys” and “The Way I Am.”
In January, she even hosted VH-1’s Top 20 Countdown.
“It’s been great. It’s funny (that) ‘Girls Chase Boys’ got onto pop radio. I don’t take anything too seriously, what people say or the praise,” Michaelson said in a phone interview.
It’s helped that she’s had a streak of memorably humorous videos. For example, “Girls Chase Boys” is a spoof of Robert Palmer’s ‘80s MTV trappings, and “Blood Brothers,” which Michaelson said “was so much fun to do” despite 17 hours of sitting in a hair-and-makeup chair, features the singer morphing into Marilyn Monroe, Gene Simmons, Amy Winehouse, David Bowie (the “Aladdin Sane” period) and others.
Taking a moment to chat before the start of a tour that will bring her to the Skyline Stage at the Mann Center in Philadelphia June 30, Michaelson hinted that her “Summer Night Out” tour concerts would have some big production values to them, and recommended checking out the indie rock openers for the Philly stop, Jukebox the Ghost and Secret Someones.
“There’s nothing like playing in front of a live audience that gets you. The older I get, the more I think audiences are getting it,” the 35-year-old singer said.
Her 2014 album “Lights Out” “was about the fear of losing my mother,” she said. “In my brain, I didn’t think that would happen.” Michaelson revealed on her website in early February that her mother “recently” passed away from multiple myeloma.
After the semi-seriousness of “Lights Out” though, you can expect her next batch of songs to be happier ones. “I like … not taking myself so seriously. I might change my mind at some point,” said Michaelson.
Ingridmichaelson.com features videos of her taking on cover songs from Rihanna’s “We Found Love” to Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” and Maroon 5’s “Love Somebody.” A version of “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver shows up on the iTunes deluxe edition of “Lights Out,” and she once performed Taylor Swift’s “Clean” as Swift received Billboard’s Woman of the Year Award. “It’s always fun to do covers that people don’t expect,” Michaelson said.
A website post on May 31 announced that concert ticket holders can get VIP upgrades that include glow motion wristbands, song dedications or a backstage meet-and-greet.
IF YOU GO
What: Ingrid Michaelson in concert with openers Jukebox the Ghost and Secret Someones.
When: 7 p.m. June 30.
Where: Skyline Stage at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 5201 Parkside Drive, Philadelphia.
Tickets: $30. Note that the Skyline Stage is a standing venue.
Info.: Call (800) 745-3000 or visit www.manncenter.org.