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First/Last – Rachael Sage

May 4, 2016

“Rachael Sage has had an illustrious career as an independent artist, respected and praised by the likes of the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Rolling Stone and Billboard. She has shared the stage with Ani DiFranco, Sarah McLachlan, and Shawn Colvin and her songs have appeared on MTV, HBO, “Fame” soundtrack and Lifetime TV’s “Dance Moms”. She has made a name for herself as one of the most active touring artists in independent music with her dynamic stage show, signature flair and colorful stage banter.”

Rachael Sage is a singer-songwriter from New York City who comes returns to Pittsburgh on Friday (5/6) at the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh with support from blog faves Sun Hound behind her latest album Choreographic. I want to thank Rachael for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • Honestly, I don’t remember what album I first bought by myself. Generally, I would borrow all my parent’s records and I remember obsessing over an early smattering of artists including: the Broadway cast recording of “A Chorus Line”, Saturday Night Fever, Neil Diamond, Olivia Newton John, The Beatles and Elvis. At sleepaway camp I remember hearing Billy Joel and later, The Police, U2 and Madonna which were all very formative. But I will say that the first album that completely blew my mind and shifted me from a deeper place was Carole King’s Tapestry. My best friend shared it with me when I was 11, and it changed my creative DNA on many levels.
  • Your last album bought?
  • I bought two at the same time: Glen Hansard’s Didn’t He Ramble and Esperanza Spalding’s Emily’s D+Evolution. Both brilliant albums!!
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • Elvis Costello: Spike.
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?
  • Hmm… I really don’t like to tear anyone down for what may arguably be my own poor impulse-buying decisions, so this is a question I’m just not comfortable answering! Plus, I can always turn any CD into a very nice, glitterized coaster – so I’m lucky I’m crafty 🙂
  • First concert attended?
  • U2, in Hartford, CT. Maria McKee opened with her band Lone Justice and it was absolutely incredible!
  • Last concert?
  • The last really big concert I saw was Bruce Springsteen, in London. I enjoyed a more intimate performance by Belinda Carlisle recently, in NYC.
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • It’s a tie between Prince in San Francisco, and Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden. 2 songwriting and instrumental geniuses at the peak of their abilities… humbling and inspiring all around!!
  • Least favorite concert?
  • I continue to be huge fan, but I saw 10,000 Maniacs in college and just got the distinct feeling they were not enjoying themselves and would rather have been doing anything else. Maybe they’d just had a fight or something, but there was visible tension and an almost angry refusal to perform any requests or do an encore; it was a strange evening and we all felt it, in the audience!
  • Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • I’ve always really enjoyed performing in Pittsburgh! It’s a very soulful city, and I find the audiences to be really enthusiastic and passionate. One of the great loves of my life also happens to hail from Pittsburgh… so needless to say I’m always on a search of “Pittsburgh character” lol. This particular show will be especially meaningful because Pittsburgh has such a strong dance community, which has embraced my music so much and the show is All Ages – so I’m hoping to see some families, and maybe some young dance students who’ll know the material that’s been featured on “Dance Moms” or at various local competitions. The ALDC has really supported my music in an unexpected way, so I’ll definitely be playing some songs from the show – like the one I produced for Maddie Ziegler, “Happiness” – along with the new material from Choreographic!

Thanks, Rachael. I have to say that you will forever have a spot in my concert going conscience as being the last performer to ever play at Garfield Artworks before it closed.