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Written by  Kate Kotlyar

Hundreds of voices talk amongst themselves while the pre-show playlist attempts to drown them out. Within seconds, the chatter turns to cheers that have the ability to easily blow out an eardrum. That’s the effect that Michigander has on his audience.

Jason Singer, aka Michigander, is an indie rock artist who played the second show of his tour at The Echo in Los Angeles on April 1. His tour is 21 shows long and supports the release of his fourth EP, It Will Never Be The Same, which was released on March 31. Singer’s band consists of Aaron Senor on drums, Jake LeMond on guitar, and Connor Robertson on bass. Joining his tour is Abby Holliday and special guest BEL, who joined only for this LA show. 

BEL took to the stage first with just her acoustic guitar. She was able to quickly win over the crowd with her charisma, relatable jokes, crowd involvement and detailed, honest music. She started off her set with “Jet Lag,” a song from her 2022 EP, Jet Lag. She also played her most recent single, “Woman on Fire,” which was released on March 31. She ended her set with “Are You Okay,” which came out in Feb, and was able to hype up the crowd by getting them to sing along with her in preparation for Abby Holliday

After a brief intermission, Abby Holliday hit the stage with a powerful rendition of her song “when we’re far apart i fall apart,” from her 2021 debut album. Her heavily instrumented and electronic-esque music had a very different vibe to BEL’s music. Holliday’s raw and dramatic, yet energetic music set the tone for Michigander’s exciting setlist. She played all the songs from her sophomore EP, IDK WHAT I WANT, and ended her set with her 2021 single, “Better By Now,” which included crowd participation, leaving the audience wanting more.

Finally, Michigander and his band made their anticipated entrance while Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” roared from the speakers (most likely related to Singer’s broken leg, which caused him to postpone the tour and delay the release of his EP). He kicked off his set with “Stay Out of It,” a single from his latest EP. This vibrant and optimistic song set the tone for the remainder of the show. 

During “Cannonball,” the band walked off the stage before the last chorus and left Michigander on stage, alone, with his acoustic guitar, singing with and sharing a heartfelt moment with all of the audience members. After he finished the song, Michigander expressed his thanks to the audience.

“This is weird because for so long I’ve been in a van, traveling around the country and playing to nobody. Now, I’m really far from home and there’s people. The weird part about it is that I wrote most of these songs in my bedroom, and now I’m playing them here, hundreds, maybe thousands of miles away from home and having y’all sing and stand for this whole time is pretty cool,” Singer expressed. 

During this time, he also announced the next song he was going to perform, which was “Nineties,” the first Michigander song ever released, and a surprise song that was not on the written setlist. The at-capacity venue was beautifully silent as the audience hung onto every word that Michigander sang, only accompanied by a small whisper as the audience sang quietly along, allowing Michigander’s voice to fill the space between the audience and the venue’s high ceilings. Towards the end of the song, the band joined Michigander on stage again to end the passionate song. 

Michigander ended his set with “Superglue,” a song that while filming the music video for, caused him to break his leg in three places, ultimately postponing this tour and his latest EP release as he focused on rehabilitation. Ending his hour-long set with a song that must have caused him lots of physical pain (while filming the music video, at least) was an extreme power play and showed the audience how he is recovered, back better than ever, and ready to continue his tour and provide people across the country with a night that they won’t forget, just like he did in Los Angeles. 

Overall, the night was a beautiful blend of indie artists that each had a clear tone and message with their music. The Echo’s intimate location mixed with Michigander’s unmatched energy made the night unforgettable and makes this tour one that no one will want to miss. 

-Kate Kotlyar

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