For fans of Rachael Yamagata the anticipation has been building for quite some time now, ever since news of her long awaited new album was announced. So it's no wonder that at Johnny Brenda's last night in Philadelphia that the pre-show atmosphere quickly turned into a swelling of chants waiting for Rachael to take the stage (to see the photo gallery from the show click here). Yamagata opened the set with a rare treat of "Collide" off her 2003 EP and then launched straight into the popular "Be Be Your Love", which as soon as she began playing had the crowd going nuts at least a full minute into the song. From there on out Rachael mixed in songs both off of her brilliant debut LP Happenstance and her new Elephants...Teeth Sinking Into Heart. Older tracks "Letter Read" and "Worn Me Down" were highlights as were the heavier tracks "Faster" and "Sidedish Friend" off of the new disc, which showcased her band of Jason Kanakis(guitar), Justin Saunders(Cello), Jon Flaugher(Bass), Chris Giraldi(Drums), and the opener Kevin Devine sitting in on guitar most of the set.
In between songs Yamagata was candid with the crowd, chatting on topics ranging from her difficulty in switching labels, to relationships and drinking. Towards the end of the set the festive night took another turn, as the band along with the crowd serenaded Rachael with a happy birthday champage toast. Back to the music, the intimate new track "Elephants" was also a standout with just Yamagata and her piano commanding the stage, while the tender "Sunday Afternoon" closed things out before an encore of the heartbreaking "Reason Why".
Rachael's new album doesn't come out until Oct. 7th, in the meantime you can preview new tracks over at RachaelYamagata.com
story and photo's contributed by: Robert Proffe