All Phillip Phillips needs is a guitar and a pillow.
The last "American Idol" champ keeps things low-key while touring. The routine is eat (whatever's around), drink (plenty of water), play and sleep.
Each day is a different city or time zone. Wednesday, he'll play a show, which sold out months ago, at Penn State York's Pullo Family Performing Arts Center. That show has been postponed.
His advice to concertgoers: "Not to be afraid to dance and move around."
During a recent interview, the singer/songwriter guessed he was in Illinois - somewhere in the middle of his string of collegiate gigs this spring.
"I told my management I wanted to do a college tour," Phillips said. While playing for his peers, the 22-year-old said he hopes to build his fan base for the future. It seems to be working.
"It's been going really well," he said. "The crowds have been really great."
Between concerts and rest, Phillips has been able to spend some time writing new songs. He said he might try a new tune or two on stage or throw a cover into a set.
He said he'll likely release an album next year. With an opening slot for John Mayer's "Born and Raise World Tour" this summer, there's no rush.
The pace is a little different than the weeks following his "Idol" victory. Plagued by chronic kidney stones, Phillips was in and out of the hospital during the show and after it wrapped. After surgery last summer, he toured while simultaneously trying to record an album.
"I had to go to the Philippines," he recalled. "We had three weeks to finish (the album). We hadn't even started yet. Luckily, I had a lot of songs written."
The Georgia native already had a smash single, "Home," which landed in the second slot on the CD "The World From the Side of the Moon." The next track, "Gone, Gone, Gone," became Phillips' second single.
The video for the song features clips of home movies from people on Phillips' team. The idea was to help people from all ages and relationships relate to the lyrics.
"I didn't want it to be cheesy," he said of the video. "I wanted it to have old footage (of) boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives and families."
And Phillips said he found a new family in his backing band, which has bonded while on the road. He said they learned a thing or two from Matchbox Twenty while opening for the group earlier this year. He hopes the same will be true after his tour with Mayer.
"It will be my first time meeting him and getting to know each other a bit," Phillips said.
He credits "Idol" for giving him a crash course in live television and dealing with the public.
"It's going to be something I never forget," he added. "I met a lot of great people throughout that process. I did my time. It's someone else's chance."
While on the road, Phillips hasn't been able to tune into season 12 of "Idol," which wraps soon. There isn't much room for a TV between his guitar and pillow.
- ERIN McCRACKEN,
The showThe Phillip Phillips concert scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Penn State York's Pullo Family Performing Arts Center has been postponed. The Pullo Center announced the postponement on Monday, citing Phillips' health as the reason for the change.
A new date has not been set.
For details, visit www.thepullocenter.com or call 717-505-8900.
While on tour with John Mayer this summer, Phillips will play Burgettstown Aug. 25 and Allentown Aug. 27.
Connect with Phillip
What he's listening to on the road: Alabama Shakes, Peter Gabriel and Bill Withers
Season 1: Kelly Clarkson
Season 2: Ruben Studdard
Season 3: Fantasia Barrino
Season 4: Carrie Underwood
Season 5: Taylor Hicks
Season 6: Jordin Sparks
Season 7: David Cook
Season 8: Kris Allen
Season 9: Lee DeWyze
Season 10: Scotty McCreery
Season 11: Phillip Phillips