As the saying goes, to be a successful songwriter, you must first and foremost, be a great storyteller?

Well for Ingrid Michaelson, that definitely rings true.

photo credit: Jonathan Kwa

The indie singer/songwriter with her trademark black glasses (reminding us of a certain Lisa Loeb), had the crowd eating out of her hand (that played the ukulele and the piano so melodiously) from the get go; walking out to loud cheers from the eager audience when she performed at the Esplanade concert hall on Monday night. Her random impromptu ditties (one which she composed on the spot about Singapore) and stories about her seemingly “mundane” life were also greeted with appreciative applause and laughter all night.

To her ardent fans and those who turned up at the concert hall, amidst screams of “I love you Ingrid!” to “Stay in Singapore!”, she could do no wrong.

And she proved to us, just why she deserved all that hoopla.

Like her music, she was quirky, fun, self-deprecating, entertaining, all rolled into one super fair, dark-haired, asymetrical tank top and shorts-wearing package.

Lapping up tale after tale, the crowd laughed, giggled and guffawed at her every word – from her stranger-turned-snuggle-companion in the train story, to her trying to go incognito while navigating the malls in Singapore, to confessing about wiki-ing up a storm on our chewing gum laws.

It’s as if we were watching an episode of Comedy Central.

photo credit: Joanna Kwa

Jokes aside, Michaelson’s performance was pitch perfect in more ways than one. Her harmonies with her two backup singers/friends, Allie Moss and Bess Rogers, were definitely one of the highlights of the night. They complemented her powerful vocals seamlessly. Perhaps, they should consider setting up their own girl band a la The Dixie Chicks if Michaelson ever gets sick of being a one-woman show.

The best moments of the show were when Michaelson performed with just her instruments – the ukulele and the piano. With her crystal clear, power-packed vocals, she crooned away, singing popular favourites “This Is War”, “Black and Blue”, “Parachute”, “Blood Brothers” and “Maybe”.

Her voice proved to be hauntingly beautiful especially on songs like “Ghost”, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and “Corner of Your Heart”. Every word seemed to strike your soul and immersed you into her music even more.

photo credit: Joanna Kwa

Hipsters everywhere were jumping for joy when she decided to cover “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver, whom she noted as one of her favourites.

The crowd went into “awww” overdrive when she pulled her hubby, Greg Laswell, who also opened her show to the glee of some die-hard fans, on stage to perform  “The Light In Me”, a song that they had written together.

Season concert goers would know that there was no way Michaelson would leave without singing her biggest hits, saving “Be OK” and “The Way I Am” till after the encore. By that time, the crowd was clapping, singing along and on a concert high.

Judging by the post-concert autograph line, we’re pretty sure this uber talented singer/composer will be going places. We’re just glad we caught her keeping it real, without all that jazz and flash – a raw, musical treat for our ears.