Country music makes home run

Sawyer Brown, Phil Vassar headline show

Mirror photo by Greg Bock Workers with Galaxy Productions, Altoona, set up sound equipment on the stage at Peoples Natural Gas Field on Friday afternoon, in preparation for tonight’s concert featuring Sawyer Brown and Phil Vassar.

A different kind of team took to the infield at Peoples Natural Gas Field on Friday as a small army of workers erected the stage for tonight’s concert kicking off the Altoona Curve’s 20th season.

Sawyer Brown and Phil Vassar will perform tonight in the first outdoor concert at the field in 10 years.

“A lot of people have asked us to bring back the outdoor concerts, and so this is our kickoff to our 20th season,” Curve General Manager Derek Martin said.

Martin said the team is looking to have a variety of off-season events for fans in preparation for the 2018 season, and with summer-like weather this weekend, the concert will be a great chance for folks to come out for a night of music at the ballpark.

“Plus, it’s the last chance to have some Curve burgers in 2017,” Martin said, plugging the team’s most popular menu item.

Sawyer Brown has been on the country music scene since the early 1980s, with 23 albums, more than 50 charted singles and numerous awards from the Academy of Country Music, Country Music Television and Country Music Association.

Hit songs include “Some Girls Do,” “Thank God for You,” “Step That Step,” and the George Jones cover, “The Race is On.”

Vassar’s hits include “Just Another Day in Paradise” and “Carlene.” He wrote winners for other stars, including “Right on the Money” as recorded by Alan Jackson, and “My Next Thirty Years” by Tim McGraw.

In all, he has 10 No. 1 hits, 15 in the top 10 and 26 top 40s since his career began taking off in the late 1990s.

Vassar is working on his 10th album, but no release date has been set.

Crews worked Friday, unloading a mountain of gear and rigging sound and light equipment in preparation for tonight’s concert.

There are still plenty of tickets at all levels available, Martin said, and since Sheetz is the main sponsor, tickets for Sheetz Card holders are $20, he added.

“We wanted to make it as accessible as we could for the area,” said Will Jones of Altitude Entertainment, which is promoting the event with the Curve. “It’s a win for people to come out and see a great concert.”

Jones pointed out that Aaron Kelly, who was an American Idol finalist in 2010, has joined the ticket as the opening act, making the show three national acts.

Tonight’s show starts at 6:30 p.m. Along with Sheetz, it is sponsored by Laurel Eye Clinic, Furrer Beverage, City Beverage and Peoples Natural Gas.

Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.