I was able to attend the Phil Vassar show at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis, Maryland last Sunday night. The venue was very accommodating and as you first walked in the door, having all of the merchandise for sale right there was a nice touch. After picking up my tickets, I was escorted to my table and seat. They offered drink specials and even had specialty drinks with a Phil Vassar flare. The atmosphere was very warm and welcoming. I felt that there was not a bad seat in the house and definitely felt a part of the show. They even offered table service when ordering drinks so you could enjoy the whole experience without running to the bar.
As I sat down and ordered a beer, I observed that the main focal point of the stage was Phil’s piano. Instead of a normal white or black piano, it was vibrant florescent colored with red, orange, blue, yellow and white with a sun in the center and the initials “PV”. The lighting on the stage set the mood and everyone was excited for the band to take the stage. As I was waiting, I spoke to a couple fans from Virginia and Bel Air, Maryland. One couple travels wherever Phil performs as they think he is just amazing!! I first saw Phil back in the 90’s and was hooked instantly.
The band set up included drums, guitar, bass and piano. It was time! A cheer from the crowd and the band took the stage along with Phil Vassar. Boy was I pumped! The acoustics at this venue were spot on from the vocals to the electric guitar riffs and bass line.
Phil came out and welcomed the crowd. He performed two shows that night and the one that I attended was his second. He then stated “We have no set list tonight, so we are just going to perform requests. So let’s go what do you want to hear?” From this moment on it was non-stop energy coming from each musician on that stage. I felt so drawn in and a part of the entire show. Song after song, hit after hit, the entire crowd was singing right along. At one point, Phil slowed it down a bit with “Last Day of My Life” which pulled at everyone’s heart strings. As the instrumental part kicked in, Phil seamlessly segwayed into “Come Sail Away” that had everyone cheering and applauding. He then went right back into “A Dozen Roses” again. If you have not seen Phil Vassar on the piano, he will go from standing and dancing while hitting the keys similar to an Administrative Assistant typing a five page document. His energy level only rivaled one entertainer I have seen in concert and that is Garth Brooks. It takes a special talent to keep people fully engaged and also play in the manner in which he does. Top-Notch!!
As a song would end and the people would cheer, Phil was like a stand-up comedian. He had stories to tell about each and every song. The band is made up of magicians. Yes, I said magicians…. from guitar solos, to the drums, and bass, Phil is surrounded by top notch musicians. Another stand out moment of the evening for me was when Phil got the request for “American Song”. He stated this song is just pure Americana and he was correct. Lyrics from Clint Eastwood to apple pie this songs is 100% US of A!
I was truly blown away by the show as well as the venue. If you have the chance please go to Rams Head On Stage and check out one of their upcoming shows in lovely downtown Annapolis, Maryland. I will leave you with the best one sentence description of Phil Vassar that I could think of, the man can make the words on a piece of paper just explode while painting a picture along with the story. Do yourself a favor and download or pick up a copy of “American Soul.”
Also, this just in, Phil Vassar and Kelly Pickler will be performing a Christmas show on Thursday December 21, 2017 at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts presented by Rams Head Promotions. Ticket link is here.
Below you will find links for Rams Head On Stage and Phil Vassar.
American Soul Summer (Deluxe Edition) by Phil Vassar