Phil Vassar Filled in for Josh Turner — and Didn’t Disappoint!
Maybe I should have phrased it "Phil'd" in or "Philled" in? Either way, Phil Vassar did not disappoint last Friday night at the Central Washington State Fair!
Let me catch up on what happened to lead up to Phil Vassar taking the stage at the fair Friday night.
Thursday morning, we got news that one of Josh Turner's tour buses was in a fatal accident after leaving a show in California, en route to Washington state. Neither Turner nor his band was on that bus. The bus was carrying some of Turner's crew members. Reports say that the fatality was Turner's sound engineer.
Following the news of the accident, we got word that Turner would be postponing/canceling shows for the rest of September, which included his show last Friday night at the Central Washington State Fair.
Fair officials worked to find a replacement act, and boy did they. With just 48 hours until show time, fair officials announced that Phil Vassar would be the replacement act.
Fast forward to Friday night. Vassar took the stage and did what he does best: tear it up on the piano! He's such a great performer and songwriter. I'd seen him in concert before, so I knew those who did come for the concert would be in for a treat.
He sang the majority of his hit songs, including songs he wrote for other artists, like "My Next Thirty Years," which was recorded by Tim McGraw. "Bye Bye," which was recorded by JoDee Messina. Also, "I'm Alright," also recorded by Messina.
He continually thanked the fair for having him out. He mentioned the fact that he was filling in for Josh Turner multiple times and to keep Turner's crew and their families in thoughts and prayers. He said that all the artists and bands in Nashville are a tight community and know each other very well. So when a loss happens, like what happened with Turner, the whole country music community feels it.
Prior to the concert, I had the opportunity to meet Phil. He's a personable guy, I asked him "So what WERE your weekend plans?" He laughed. He had a show in Minnesota already scheduled for Saturday night. So when he was booked for Yakima, they had to change the airline tickets. They flew out to Minnesota following the show Friday night.
Phil also mentioned to me that something similar to this HAS happened to him before, so he knows the show-canceling drill. Apparently his bus was involved in an accident years ago that resulted in one of his shows being canceled.
Check out a few of my pictures from the show below: