25th ID Band rocks out at FOB Hammer

| April 22, 2011 | 0 Comments
Staff Sgt. Christopher Stone, lead vocalist with the Show of Force, 25th ID rock band ensemble, sings a song during the concert at FOB Hammer, Iraq, recently.

Staff Sgt. Christopher Stone, lead vocalist with the Show of Force, 25th ID rock band ensemble, sings a song during the concert at FOB Hammer, Iraq, recently.

Story and Photo by
Sgt. Isolda McClelland
29th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

 

BAGHDAD — At Forward Operating Base Hammer, the usual sounds of the day are the booms emitted from the various training ranges.

Recently, however, the booms didn’t come from the ranges, but rather the small stage area on the FOB.

The booming sounds of drums hammering away and the low rumble of bass guitars meant that Show of Force, the 25th Infantry Division Band’s rock band ensemble, was warming up and getting ready to bring together a crowd of Soldiers and civilians to the stage.

This nine-member group started off the day, here, playing acoustic rock tunes inside of the Hammer Dining Facility during lunch. The evening show, however, contained a hard-rock style of music that featured widely-known American artists such as Metallica, Paramour, Disturbed and Tool, just to name a few.

While the band does not focus on typical ceremonial music, the music it does play is meant to uplift the morale and spirits of deployed service members.

“We’re trying to integrate rock bands and what we call ‘popular music ensembles’ as the primary focus, especially in a deployed environment where we are playing for 25-year-old Soldiers,” said Sgt. Brendan Owen, senior instrumentalist, Show of Force. “They do not want to hear John Philip Sousa, or ‘Mustang Sally’ for that matter. They want modern music, and that is what we are giving them.”

Playing for deployed troops also lifts the morale of the band members.

“You know, you may go about a typical Army day …  and that one hour we play, you see that one guy singing along with you, it’s awesome,” said Staff Sgt Christopher Stone, lead vocalist, Show of Force.

Many in the audience were pleased with the selection of music played.

“It was absolutely fantastic, a lot of great classics from back home. And this gives our (Iraqi partners) a taste of Americana,” said 1st Lt. Joshua Wiedner, Company C, 1st Battalion, 18th Inf. Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Inf. Div.

Since deploying, the band has played more than 50 shows to outlying FOBs throughout Iraq.

“This is real important,” Wiedner said. “We’re really isolated (from the other USO-sponsored shows), out here east of Baghdad, so whenever we get a chance to break up the monotony of daily operations, it’s good. And it’s a great stress reliever for our troops.

“From what I saw, the guys really enjoyed themselves,” Wiedner continued. “Everybody seemed like they had a great time, and I am glad that (the band) took the time to come out here and play for some of our Soldiers.”

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Category: Deployed Forces, News

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