Exclusive Tour Diary: Rachael Sage

Behind-the-scenes with the ballet-pop singer.

By Elizabeth Smith - May 5, 2016
Folk-pop singer Rachael Sage shares exclusive behind the scenes photos from her tour. Behind-the-scenes with the ballet-pop singer. Rachael Sage

Have you ever wondered what a singer, songwriter, painter, and ballet dancer does while she's on tour? You're in luck because Rachael Sage has shared some behind-the-scenes shots from her current tour. The pop singer is currently performing on the road before the release of her new album, Choreographic, that comes out on May 20. The self-described ballet-pop album will pay homage to Sage's first love: dance. Check out how the tour is going so far and what you can expect to experience at her live shows.

Charlotte: The Evening Muse

It was a pleasure to share the stage with Mary Fahl.

The first leg of our tour kicked off at one of my favorite intimate venues, The Evening Muse, in Charlotte, CA. One of my favorite things about this venue, in addition to the excellent sound and pin-drop-quiet audiences, is the rotating art installations. For someone like myself, who also paints in addition to makes music, it always makes me feel so inspired to walk into a hybrid venue-slash-gallery, and the Warhol-inspired giant portraits of Patti Smith, Kurt Cobain, and Keith Richards definitely inspired me and my violinist Kelly Halloran, even before soundcheck! It was a pleasure to share the stage with Mary Fahl, who mesmerized all of us with her deep vocals and soulful covers of Joni Mitchell and Pink Floyd.

Duluth: The Red Clay Theatre

On stage at the Red Clay Theatre.

I've wanted to play The Red Clay for a while, because it's run by legendary promoter Eddie Owen—who founded "Eddie's Attic" in Atlanta. My family is originally from Atlanta and I have relatives there still so it's always very special to tour the south! Everything about this gig was idyllic, from the spacious stage, perfect sound system (run by the uber-talented "Shalom"), spacious green room to a generally hospitable staff, including Eddie himself. Eddie let me into his private office, where I promptly fell in love with his antique desk—every bit as distinguished as the man himself! I can't wait to play this room again—and as a bonus, I happened to meet a volunteer at the venue who, it turns out, we determined is a distant cousin of mine...pretty cool, right?

Awendaw (Charleston): Awendaw Green

An unexpected visitor in Awendaw, NC.

I was a bit under the weather at this gig, which was untimely because it was outdoors and a bit chilly...but this community is so unique and inspiring, that was healing unto itself! From the fantastic production crew and sound personnel to the on-site pizza making, along with the green-minded, progressive sensibility of Awendaw itself, it's impossible not to be inspired by this beautiful setting. While we were soundchecking, swans swam by on the picturesque lake next to the stage, and we even saw a lizard (!) in the port-o-potty. Yes, true story! Other acts on the bill included local blues-rocker Danielle Howle and my MPress labelmates A Fragile Tomorrow, who are both among my favorite artists, so it was truly a family affair. And as a bonus, they made me personalized vegan pizza that I promptly devoured after our gig...ahh, the little things! This was also the very first gig where I tried out my new electric guitar pedals—and I'm happy to say, I'm hooked! #boxofrock #noturningback

Nashville: The Bluebird Cafe

The always wonderful Bluebird Cafe in Nashville.

Playing Nashville's Bluebird Cafe is always an incredible experience. First of all, there's just something magical about the room itself, and seeing all the legendary artists' photos on the wall is both humbling and energizing. I've only ever had a great time at The Bluebird, especially participating in their "in-the-round" series. For this show, I was sharing the stage with the beautiful and accomplished actor-slash-singer Alicia Witt (from the TV show "Nashville"), as well as country-slash-pop hit-maker Jeff Cohn and Boots Otestad. I performed my new singles "Try Try Try," "Loreena," and "Heaven (Is A Grocery Clerk)," and enjoyed the opportunity to tell stories about each song to such an appreciative, packed room. We all ended up jamming together on each other's songs by the end, and then had a fun dinner after the show. It's such a treat meeting new artists you admire, and I can't wait to go back to Music City!

Nashville School Of Music & Dance

Meet & Greet with the Nashville School of Dance in Music.

One of the things we're doing along the "Choreographic" tour by day, is visiting local dance schools. Some of these schools have been choreographing original dances to music from my new album, and the most impressive so far has been Nashville School Of Dance and Music—so of course we had to swing by and meet the staff and their youngest (5 year old!) pupil. Being in a dance studio always reminds me of my years at The School Of American Ballet, a time which I'll always remember fondly and which fueled so many of my songs.

DC: Corner Arts

Corner Arts is a lovely acoustic venue that always has a great, vibey atmosphere. The presenter is also a professional painter and mixed-media artist who always has new work on the walls, so it's essentially a gallery as well as a listening room. The intimacy of this room and the colorful, artsy environment always make me feel right at home.

Philadelphia: World Cafe Live

My stage set-up in Philadelphia.

World Cafe Live in Philly is such a great venue! From the spacious stage and delicious food, to the relationship with adjoining "tastemaker" radio station WXPN; everything about World Cafe Live is tailored to a positive experience for both artists and audiences. The sound is impeccable, and I always love visiting Philly. I was very fortunate to perform this show with special guest violinist Lyris Hung (Indigo Girls), whose tone and unique style brings so much to my arrangements. This was our very first duo gig. Lyris' playing kept me on the edge of my piano bench, and I'll never forget it!

DC: Voice Of America

The morning after our World Cafe gig in DC, we were invited to appear on a national podcast for "Voice Of America", which apparently goes out to 60 countries live, and millions of listeners so...no pressure! Our DJ, Larry London, had an impressively resonant radio voice that charmed us from his first words, and was wildly well-prepared. He knew my whole bio by heart and asked great questions, and the rest of the staff including the engineer and even our security liaison were all so warm and helpful. Lyris Hung joined me on violin, and overall it was a very positive experience.

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Elizabeth Smith

The first concert I ever went to was Christina Aguilera. Now, I’m equally at home at a country concert in cowboy boots or a rock concert in combat boots. Either way, I have a love affair with boots and live music. I speak fluent pop culture, yell at the TV when I watch football, and always have time for a dance session.

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