REAL DEAL: Phillip Phillips, seen here at the OneHope Harvest Party Benefiting Charity: Water at OneHope Winery in Napa, California, in 2021, is on tour again. (Getty Images)
Georgia’s Own Phillip Phillips Takes to the Theater/Club Circuit
Multi-platinum-selling recording artist and “American Idol” season 11 winner Phillip Phillips is on tour in support of his new indie-label album “Drift Back.”
The 24-date route, with a number of promoters invovled, launched Oct. 5 in at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington, D.C., and concludes Nov. 11 at House of Blues New Orleans.
In between, the Georgia native has played Irving Plaza in New York, the new Infinity Hall in Hartford, Connecticut, Tonight (Oct. 12), Phillips performs at Joe’s Live in Rosemont, Ill., starting a Midwest swing that will take him to Des Moines, Iowa; St. Louis, Missouri; and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Dates in Los Angeles, San Diego are also on the itinerary. He’s playing 1,000- to 1,500-capacity rooms.
Reached the day after the tour-opener, Phillips said after some first-show jitters, he settled in for a night of audience singing and dancing.
“People were having a really good time and we did too,” he said.
Phillips, whose booking agent is Matthew Morgan and Zach Hartley at United Talent Agency, is mixing up his set list each night and says the light show is an added production bonus.
“Having good lights helps create that energy,” he said. His tour’s lighting vendor is Premier Global Productions “If it’s an intense moment, maybe they’re getting crazy and if it’s a more intimate moment, it’s, you know, nice and pretty and very simple.”
But the heart of the show is him and his band cranking out earthy rock with personal themes.
“Maybe three quarters of the way through, I’ll do an acoustic, two or three songs, and chat with the crowd,” he said. “I’m always chatting with the crowd. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to be saying, because I’m really nervous, but it makes them laugh and makes us all have fun.”
Phillips, a husband and father of a 3-year-old boy, has been touring off and on since 2012, the year he won “American Idol.” He says he takes a special interest in the business side of his career, especially now that he has gone independent after leaving Interscope/19 Records.
According to box office results reported to Pollstar, since Nov. of 2023 to November of 2023, Phillips grossed just under $5.6 million from 149,554 tickets sold to 86 shows.
Ticket prices on the current tour range from $25-$75.
He notes that his audience crosses a wide range of ages.
“You’ve got frat guys, they’re just holding each other’s arms, you know, as they’re sitting there singing along,” he said. “And then there’s kids with their parents, and then there’s older, more seasoned fans, couples and whatnot.”
Phillips said he has enjoyed touring with acts like the Goo Goo Dolls and playing the occasional festival. This year, he will perform at the 2023 Biofreeze USA Pickleball National Championships on Nov. 10 in Farmers Branch, Texas. Phillips, an avid pickle ball player himself, says the excitement of playing live is incomparable to anything else.
“Headlining tours are sometimes a little more stressful, because all the pressure and everything’s on you, but my wife and friends always have to remind me that, ‘Hey, man, they’re coming to see you,” he said. “Sometimes I get in my own head too much, but that’s just me as a musician. You just want to do it the best you possibly can.”
Phillips says his son doesn’t consider him an American Idol.
“He just knows that I sing songs, he said. “He can sing you every word to all of these new songs and new album. It makes me happy and warms my heart.”
The realities of fickle fame and life on the road haven’t changed one thing for Phillips. He still feels like he’s living a dream come true.
“As a kid, I couldn’t fall asleep unless I was thinking about people singing my music back to me,” he said. ”When I was younger and I was first writing music, that’s the way I would fall asleep. Playing these venues and shows you realize that it’s so much more than just that when you write a song that people connect with. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Phillip Phillips on Tour:
Oct. 5/Lincoln Theatre/Washington, DC
Oct. 6/Infinity Hall/Hartford, Conn.
Oct. 7/Irving Plaza/New York, N.Y.
Oct. 8/Keswick Theatre/Glenside, Penn.
Oct. 12/Joe’s Live/Rosemont, Ill.
Oct.13/Delmar Hall/St. Louis, Mo.
Oct. 14/Varsity Theater/Minneapolis, Minn.
Oct. 15/Woolys/Des Moines, Iowa
Oct. 19/Brooklyn Bowl/Nashville, Tenn.
Oct. 20/Millenium Center/Winston-Salem, N.C.
Oct. 21/Center Stage/Atlanta, Ga.
Oct. 26/Mars Music Hall/Huntsville, Ala.
Oct. 27/Temple Live/Fort Smith, Ark.
Oct. 28/The Granada/Lawrence, Kansas
Oct. 30/Gothic Theatre/Englewood, Colo.
Oct. 31/The Depot/Salt Lake City, Utah
Nov. 2/El Rey Theatre/Los Angeles, Calif.
Nov. 3/Music BoxSan Diego, Calif.
Nov. 4/The Van Buren/Phoenix, Ariz.
Nov. 6/KiMo Theatre/Albuquerque, N.M.
Nov. 8/House of Blues/Houston, Texas
Nov. 9/Paramount Theatre/Austin, Texas
Nov. 10/2023 Biofreeze USA Pickleball National Championships/Farmers Branch, Texas
Nov. 11/House of Blues/New Orleans, La.