photo courtesy of Sarah Spain

ESPN’S Sarah Spain takes us inside her world of… music! From Pearl Jam to growing up in Chicago to rockin’ at Wrigley.

You know Sarah Spain for her riveting podcast “That’s What She Said” and her of course her various ESPN programs such as “Spain and Fitz” “Spain and Co.” or “The Le Batard Show”. While I am certainly a sports enthusiast, I know Spain as a fellow Pearl Jam fan. In fact, this past April we were both in a wonderful tribute video with the likes of Band of Horses, Peter Frampton, Mud Honey and more, honoring our friends at

On June 10th, Spain was a guest on AW Live – talking to me all about her earliest influences in music, what she listens to before going live on air and of course… all her Pearl Jam favorites.

What are your earliest memories of being introduced to music? How influential was it?

My parents were really into listening to music, but my dad hates crowds. I don’t have a first concert with my parents story, my first straight-up concert was Nine Inch Nails when I was 13. My parents listened to music a lot and my dad played piano. My sister and I grew up taking piano lessons. Then I started playing clarinet in junior high, played all throughout high school, I was all-state in clarinet. I was all-state in chorus as well. I wanted to go on and sing in college. There was an actual acapella group called Nothing But Trouble. I auditioned for it, got in, and then they changed everything to Saturdays and I couldn’t do it because that’s when I had track. There was always this trying to balance all the musical interests that I had with all the sports stuff I was into. Every moment of my life, I have some sort of musical tie or memory.

Best concert you’ve ever been to?

All the Pearl Jam shows at Wrigley are up there. I’m also a big Coldplay fan. I saw them at the Rose Bowl in LA a few years ago and it was unbelievable. I saw Paul Simon on his farewell tour and there was something magical about seeing someone perform a song you’ve loved since you were five, and then seeing him perform a song you were listening to driving across country, moving to LA.

Now that concerts are back what do you have tickets to?

Dave Matthews Band in August, Indigo Girls/Ani DiFranco in September. I’m trying to also see which of the amazing festivals in September I can jam into. Mt. Joy was the only show I was able to go to during COVID because they did a drive-in show here in Chicago, so now I have to make up for it.

Who is on your interview bucket list that you’re ding to get on your Podcast?

Barack and Michelle Obama, Chris Martin, Tina Fey, Amy Poheler, Mindy Kaling, Stephen Colbert.

How many Pearl Jam shows have you seen?

I’d say 15.

Favorite Pearl Jam song?



For more information on Sarah Spain’s shows visit 

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