VAN WERT — Shelbie Sears, from Ypsilanti, Michigan, was “four or five” when she got up on stage with the country band Lonestar and sang the song “Amazed.” She knew every word and has been a fan ever since.
She was one of several hundred fans who attended the Lonestar-Phil Vassar Holiday and Hits Concert at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Van Wert Saturday night.
“I’m 26, they’ve been out for 26 years. I’m their life-long fan,” said Sears. “I just saw them in November, two days before my birthday, and now I’m here (in Van Wert).”
She took her 7-year-old son Caiden Sears to see the show.
She even has “Lonestar” tattooed on her right arm.
Lonestar and Phil Vassar began their tour Dec. 4 in Washington and will perform Sunday night in the final concert of their holiday tour in Pennsylvania.
December has been a busy time for the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.
“I would like to say that we started our Christmas season December 1 with The Swingles which was an a capella group,” said Tafi Stober, executive director of the Van Wert Performing Arts Association. “Then we had the Midtown Men on the 15th. Then we had David Phelps last night (Friday) and then tonight (Saturday) we have country. So it’s a diverse Christmas season that I hope that everyone no matter their musical style has found something they love at the Niswonger.”
Phil Vassar is a regional favorite that has been around before.
“Phil has been in the region a couple times in the last couple of years. He was at the Mercer County Fair to open for the summer concert. He was also here in 2017 with Kellie Pickler, and so he was on our stage, we loved his energy, people loved him, so we thought it was perfect to bring him back,” said Stober.
For many people coming to the Niswonger just before Christmas was the perfect gift.
“This is their Christmas present and this is where they choose to spend time with their family and we value that and we value it so much that we try to honor it with the best entertainment that we can bring,” Stober added.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409