Concert Review: The Alternate Routes, Storyman, and Ingrid Michaelson

April 23, 2014: Royal Oak Music Theatre, Royal Oak Of course the week that I have three concerts is the same week that I get a horrible cold that takes just about everything out of me. Missing Ingrid Michaelson was not an option, so I prepared myself with a Nyquil induced coma the night before so that I would be ready for the show. I’ll admit that I was still pretty groggy by the time we got to the venue, but I was able to perk up as soon as the first act took the stage. Connecticut based duo, The Alternate Routes was up first. Tim Warren and Eric Donnelly donned their guitars and filled the Royal Oak Music Theatre with rich acoustic sounds quickly gaining the love of the crowd. They got creative during their set, using a tackle box to help create a beat which just made the audience love them more. The highlight of their set was when they performed the song they wrote for the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, “Nothing More”. They definitely left the stage with a few more fans than they had when they came out. Next up was Irish duo Storyman, who just happened to be short a member due to Kevin May having some issues getting into the country. Fortunately Ingrid’s guitarist, Chris, came onto stage to help Mick Lynch out. I really love to hear stories about song writing process and Mick had a great one for “For a Cat”. He had been struggling with the chorus and Kevin suggested to just try something out. Mick scoffed at first but placed it in just as a placeholder until he thought of something better, but the more he heard it the more he thought that it worked. It was a great little behind the scenes story that the audience just ate up and definitely made the song a quick favorite for me. The whole crowd was singing along by the end of the song, “Love Finds Us All / Who Cares Where You’re At / I Was Climbing the Walls / When You’re Crazy Took My Crazy / For A Cat”. Ingrid entered the stage to roaring applause, honestly I haven’t seen an audience that excited for a band / singer in a long time. She wasted no time, jumping right into “Home” from her recently released album, Lights Out. Even though the album had only been released a week before, the crowd seemed to know all the words. Ingrid seemed a bit surprised by the warm welcome she had received from the Royal Oak crowd, stating that even though it was only the third show of the Lights Out Tour, she was sure that it would probably remain one of the best. I always find that it truly elevates the concert experience when the artist and audience can engage with one another. The fans were obviously very excited to get to see Ingrid again, singing and dancing to just about every song that she treated us to. The evening was filled with a great mix of old and new songs, including fan favorites “Breakable” and “The Way I Am”. Ingrid sounds amazing live, her vocal range truly shining in the wonderful atmosphere that the Royal Oak Music Theatre provides. While everyone sang along, it was clear they didn’t want to overpower Ingrid and miss out on her beautiful voice. She sang “Breakable” relatively softly, the audience barely whispering along. It was truly a unique experience and I was happy to have gotten to experience it. One thing is certain, I will never miss seeing Ingrid Michaelson when she comes back into town.