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Anna Nalick has toured with some of her idols during the past year.

Singer/songwriter Anna Nalick's grandmother — a performer on Broadway and in touring productions — lived with her family when she was a child and would tell Nalick stories of life on the stage and on the road.

"I was captivated by her stories, and it was exciting for me," Nalick said by phone from 7 Springs Resort in Pennsylvania. "And I wanted to do something like that."

So, while still an elementary school student living in Glendora, Calif. (the one-time home of Van Halen), Nalick began writing songs. "I've been writing since I was 10, and I enjoy it."

Within another decade, Nalick was wrapping up the recording of her debut album, "Wreck of the Day." All the songs were written specifically for this album. "I wrote all the songs in a year. I wanted the song list fresh and new for this experience."

Nalick felt that the songs she wrote for the album were some of her best. "I write about human lives, and that makes things easier. I learned when I was younger that everyone — no matter if they are a teenager, a waiter or a record-company executive — experiences insecurities, happiness and sadness. My songs are about what we feel."

She didn't know what to expect going into the studio to lay the tracks for "Wreck of the Day." "I had never done that before. I learned a lot. And it was cool seeing how my songs came together. I wrote all of them either on just the acoustic guitar or piano. And to have the bare bones of the song finally become a completed, finished work was a great experience for me."

Within the past year, Nalick has also toured with some of her idols. "I went on tour with the Wallflowers just a few months ago. They showed me how to be nice to your opening act. They treated me well. And that was something of a bonus because I remember listening to their album 'Bringing Down the Horse' when I was in junior high school and wishing I could be like (lead singer) Jakob Dylan."

Nalick has also toured with Chris Isaak, Tears for Fears and Five for Fighting. "They all taught me a lot of the road."

Although Nalick is ready to take her next step musically, which is eventually embarking on a headline tour, she said she has a couple of other goals in her mind. "I want to host 'Saturday Night Live' one day. But I want to do it and have Will Ferrell there. I think he's so funny. And I want to tour with U2.

"I also want to find the man of my dreams, marry him, have kids and do the Sarah McLachlan thing, and tour with the family."

If you go . . .

What: Howie Day, Anna Nalick

Where: Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South

When: Thursday, 8 p.m.

How much: $20

Phone: 467-8499 or 800-888-8499

E-mail: [email protected]