Phil Vassar: Live Last Night

phil vassar.jpg

Live Last Night

In case you didn't hear it the dozen or so times he announced it during his set, Phil Vassar was glad to be back in his home state of Virginia. The Lynchburg native delighted the crowd at Celebrate Fairfax yesterday with his collection of chart-toppers -- some written for singers such as Jo Dee Messina, others from his own successful singing career.

Vassar's brand of piano-pop-country was a perfect choice for a summer afternoon: airy and sweet as the festival's funnel cake (heartburn? no worries: Vassar also shills for Prilosec), the 90-minute show was chock full of feel-good music from infectious opener "Carlene" to the '80s medley performed by his band.

(Read the rest of the review after the jump.)

Interrupting Vassar's many hits were a couple of misses that nearly derailed the show. New single "Bobbi with An I" is an asinine tale of a former linebacker turned transvestite; where Roger Miller or "A Boy Named Sue" writer Shel Silverstein may have penned a song like this with well-crafted witticisms and sly humor, Vassar relies on clunkers like "In his pink party dress/You would never guess/He benches 355."

Meanwhile, "I'll Take That As A Yes (The Hot Tub Song)" is very possibly the unsexiest song about sex ever written.

Recovering from these slight missteps, Vassar ended his show with solid performances of his song "My Next 30 Years" (a hit for Tim McGraw) and Billy Joel's "Piano Man." With Ken doll good looks, expert showmanship, and knack for hook-friendly songwriting, it's easy to see why Vassar is one of country's more popular artists. But how long can a person enjoy funnel cake before craving something a little more substantial?


Vassar performs two shows tonight (at 6 and 9) at Rams Head Tavern. Both concerts are sold out.

By J. Freedom du Lac |  June 8, 2009; 2:48 PM ET Live Last Night
Previous: The Sway Machinery: Live Last Night | Next: Out With the (H)Old (Steady), In With the New: Disappears


Please email us to report offensive comments.

You guys shoulda been there earlier - Blues Traveler on Friday and The Fixx on Saturday were pretty good.

Posted by: Hemisphire | June 8, 2009 3:16 PM

Phil Vassar was AMAZING at Celebrate Fairfax! Where were you? Obviously not in the crowd. He is a talented and enthusiastic performer! His energy and hard work was appreciated by everyone that was there!

Posted by: drogers267 | June 8, 2009 4:00 PM

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