Phil Vassar wows BHS crowd

The 67th Annual Bucking Horse Sale (BHS) started with a musical concert that left everyone cheering and in high spirits at the Eastern Montana Fairgrounds on Thursday night.

According to Rick Flotkoetter, one of the co-sponsors of the event, an estimated 800 people attended the concert. 

“I thought the show was fantastic. I was a little disappointed by the size of the crowd,” said Flotkoetter. “But the people who were there had a great time.”

Canadian Carl Dixon opened the show with a mix of original songs and other well-known tunes from the Eagles, Led Zeppelin and more.

But only when headliner Phil Vassar took the stage in his faded jeans, brown leather jacket and sunglasses did the crowd go wild.

With drinks in their hands the crowd danced, cheered and sang along even with the cold spring breeze that had people retreating into sweatshirts and under blankets. 

Vassar played hits like, “Carlene,” “Just Another Day in Paradise,” and “Six-Pack Summer,” among others. 

Vassar also sang “My Next 30 Years,” which he wrote for country star Tim McGraw.

According to a press release, Vassar likes to have a good time on stage and wants his fans to have fun in the crowd.

Vassar stayed true to that statement as he jumped, danced and even drank on stage all while playing the piano for almost every song. 

His ice cold beer was provided by Dixon during one of Vassar’s drinking songs. 

“I’m not going out there to try and change the world,” said Vassar in a press release. “For me, this is my thing, this is my little world that I can control right now, and I’m really excited about this journey, getting new music out to the fans and working on other venues to entertain people. For me, that’s what it’s all about.”

While some came for the music, others seemed to come for the social aspect.

Local resident Deb Morford never misses a Bucking Horse Sale (BHS) concert.

“I really enjoy the concert. It’s a great way to kick off Bucking Horse weekend,” Morford said.

Morford did remember listening to Vassar ‘way back when’ and was looking forward to a night filled with music.

As the night began to unwind Dixon joined Vassar on stage to sing Billy Joel’s famous hit, “Piano Man.”

(Contact Ashley Roness at or 406-234-0450.)