(Just Another) Day in Paradise

I had to start this post with the title of one of Phil Vassar’s more well-known songs. It is, after all, about him and the most deliriously happy I’ve been in a long time after seeing him perform at Sellersville Theatre (a small, 325-seat venue) on Saturday night.

I have been a country music fan for many years now, and I’ve seen a few artists in concert. I first saw Phil Vassar perform some years ago at a large, outdoor venue when he was in the ‘height’ of his career, and it was truly amazing! I hadn’t been aware back then of his musical talents on the piano, and I was fascinated. The highlight, however, had to be his encore, when he re-entered the stage by himself and sat down at the piano. Within the first few notes, we all knew he was going to perform Billy Joel’s classic hit “The Piano Man” which, to me, seemed the most appropriate song. A crowd of over 1000+ started singing along, and he let us take over, simply accompanying us as we sang. Thinking about it still gives me goosebumps!

I had another chance to see him this past summer. I drove to Lancaster, with an overnight stay planned. By the time I arrived at my lodging, my sinuses were in total meltdown, and I ended up feeling too ill to attend the concert. Major bummer!

I happened to see a sponsored ad about him playing at Sellersville, which is only about 1/2 hour from home for me. I used social media to plead to find another person interested in attending.

And that’s when my friend, Gayle, whom I met through another mutual friend, reached out to me. She and her husband are avid followers of Phil, and she asked me if I would like her husband’s seat for the show, since he had seen him in concert many times already. Would I???? I mean, do I breathe???

To make a long story short, we had front row seats at a table, positioned perfectly to face Phil at his piano and still be able to see all of the other musicians. The music was phenomenal, and the show so engaging because it was such a small venue. Every table across the front contained people he knew – his loyal followers – and he made eye contact with each of them (even me!). He had me singing along, tearing up over one song that had special meaning or me, and wanting to pinch myself several times to show me that I wasn’t dreaming.

I didn’t think the night could be better, only our tickets included a ‘meet and greet’ right afterwards. Oh. Em. Gee. I was going to meet this amazing musician in person! I swayed between giddy and delirious while waiting in line, and I was nervous! When I walked up on my turn, he immediately opened his arms to hug me! My friend, Gayle, then introduced us officially, and I told him about seeing him some years ago. Photos were taken and as we walked away, I started crying. I couldn’t believe that this had all just happened to little old me!

I don’t remember the drive home. Fortunately, I was on somewhat familiar roads and my handy GPS got me home without me having to think about it. I remember heating up something for dinner because I hadn’t eaten the entire day. I remember climbing into bed after changing into sleeping attire. Now, I normally have trouble falling asleep at night, and the memories, the moments, the incredible experience were racing through my head. Yet, I must have fallen asleep pretty quickly.

This morning I am reminding myself of the adage, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” And I have the memories – and PHOTOS to prove it!

Up close!
You can tell he’s having a good time!
Amazing guitarist and back-up singer.
This gal plays a mean sax!
Fantastic drummer – and he can sing, too!
This! This is going to happen!
Oh. Em Gee!
My amazing friend, Gayle, with Phil and me!

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