Country music’s own “Piano Man” himself, Phil Vassar tickled the ivories and delighted the hearts and ears of fans who came to see him perform at the Brandin’ Iron in San Bernardino Sunday night (April 9th).
He began his set with the title track from his latest album American Soul (released in December, it was the first album he’d released in almost seven years), before launching into a set that included not only his hit songs, songs he’s written for other artists, but also his versions of songs from bands like the Proclaimers, Four Seasons, and Styx.
The songwriter’s versions of songs like Jo Dee Messina‘s “Bye, Bye,” and “I’m Alright,” Tim McGraw‘s “For a Little While,” and “My Next Thirty Years,” are always a treat, and before performing “Sound of a Million Dreams,” Phil recalled that “One of my friends recorded this song,” and attendees from David Nail‘s show at the Brandin’ Iron in 2011 will perhaps recall David performing that song at that same venue.
His adeptness at the piano was evident in his solos, particularly the one before “Six Pack Summer,” and his romantic “Love Is a Beautiful Thing” found couples two-stepping at the back of the dance floor. The crowd sang along to every word of his biggest hits, including “Just Another Day in Paradise,” “In a Real Love,” and “That’s When I Love You.”
Closing out the show was the wholly appropriate cover of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man,” after which Phil stuck around to meet his fans, sign autographs, and take pictures.
- American Soul
- In a Real Love
- Bye, Bye
- I’m Gonna Be (Proclaimers cover)
- That’s When I Love You
- For a Little While
- Just Another Day in Paradise
- I’ll Take That as a Yes (the Hot Tub Song)
- Six Pack Summer / Stay (Maurice Williams cover) / O What a Night (Four Seasons cover)
- Sound of a Million Dreams
- My Next Thirty Years
- Joe and Rosalita
- Love Is a Beautiful Thing / Come Sail Away with Me (Styx cover)
- I’m Alright
- Piano Man (Billy Joel cover)