A little bit country, a little bit ukulele-folk-pop

Until last night, all I knew about Ingrid Michaelson was that she contributed a likable, sweetly romantic tune to an Old Navy commercial a few years back. My wife was a fan of the song, called “The Way I Am,” and given that it depicts a woman loving her man while he gets old and bald, I dared hope that she’d actually stay with me forever (so far, so good). But at last night’s Thursday at the Square show, I realized that Michaelson is a pretty big deal – with the youngsters, at least. Swarms of people crowded the stage and yelled their asses off when the singer/songwriter emerged. Fronting a solid, vocally talented five-piece group, Michaelson’s light, chirpy voice and ukulele strumming went over like gangbusters. Honestly, her style is a little too precious for my taste, but this set was fun, with more than one melody standing out – her performance of “You and I” made me want to hear the recorded version.

On a more introspective, less shiny-happy-people tip, opening act A.A. Bondy dished out a slew of beautiful, country-psychedelic-indie ballads. It didn’t seem to be the crowd’s cup of tea, but standing by the stage with a handful of hardcore Bondy fans beside me was a fairly breathtaking experience. On top of the mysterious elegance of his music, there was the recently salved burn on the singer’s upper arm and his bandaged left hand – Bondy didn’t mention the reasons for either injury, making him seem all the more like a silent, tortured troubadour.

Read my review, if you dare.

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