Sixteen years in, David Phelps has not his Christmas spirit.
The Christian music singer on Tuesday, Dec. 8, will bring his annual family-oriented holiday tour to the State Theatre in Easton. Phelps will be joined by a 10-piece band during the performance.
"When I pulled out the music this year, I thought I should be tired of this, but I'm not. (The music) makes smile," Phelps said during a recent phone interview. "There's something about the music that reminds me of good times in the past, of renewal to start again. I love the music."
Phelps said fans can expect to hear traditional Christmas standards during his return to the State Theatre, plus a handful of new material. He said it is a joy to get on stage and perform. "Every night is different. It never gets stagnant because the audience makes that difference," Phelps said. "We're trying so hard to make it a memorable experience."
For the tenor and Gaither Vocal Band member, maintaining a healthy voice is a key component of being on the road for weeks, or months, at a time. Phelps attributed rest and plenty of water as the key to making sure his vocals chords are healthy and up to snuff. "It's no great secret magic. Those are the things I have to have to keep going," he said. "Most of the time, I've been very fortunate to be able to get by."
Phelps said and his backing bands critique each performance as soon as they leave the stage to hone in on what clicked and what didn't. The elated, joyful feeling of a leaving an audience fully engaged and entertained is one cherished by Phelps and his musicians. "We'll walk off stage and go, 'This is the best night we've ever had.' I must have said that 100 times now," Phelps said, chuckling.
Phelps is quick to point out that not every show is flawless. He said has experienced his share of vocal flubs, botched notes and misspeaking. Phelps has also not been immune to the dreaded wardrobe malfunction. "The very first thing we do is check our zippers before we go on stage. That's just a given," he said. "Because the minute you forget that is when that will happen."
He then recalled one show in which an attempt to kick his leg in the air while hitting a high note resulted in one of Phelps' brand-new slip-on shoes landing in the lap of a surprised female fan. Momentarily caught off guard, Phelps said he did the only thing he could think to do in the moment. "I finished the song," he said, in between laughter.
Singer David Phelps performs his annual Christmas concert 7 p.m. Tuesday at the State Theatre in Easton. Tickets cost $28-$48. Information: statetheatre.org.