News: Chris Plays For Troops In Hawaii

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August 26, 2011

Nothing beats free quality entertainment like when a well-known artist travels across the Pacific Ocean to perform great music for Sailors, Airmen and their families. The Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) hosted a live concert at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam’s Ward Field featuring country music sensation Chris Cagle on Aug. 13.

Known for his chart-topping country music like “What a Beautiful Day,” “Miss Me Baby,” “Wal-Mart Parking Lot” and his number-one hit single “I Breathe In, I Breathe Out,” named Country Music Television’s (CMT) 2002 Flameworthy Video Music Awards Breakthrough Video of the Year, Cagle has made a comeback with h i s country music after being away from the country scene for a few years.

By popular demand, MWR brought Cagle to Hawaii for the first time.

“A few months back, U.S. Pacific Fleet’s (COMPACFLT) Fleet Master Chief John Minyard thought that having other genres such as country music would attract our active duty community, so he made a request through MWR,” said Lara Katine, MWR special events and sponsorship coordinator.

“We soon moved forward and searched for a country artist who was patriotic and had enough visibility to really draw in a good crowd, and that is how we felt Chris Cagle was the right one to bring over,” Katine explained.

With more than 3,500 fans in attendance, many came dressed in their country western outfits, eagerly waiting for the show to begin. Groups of friends, families, couples and singles laid out blankets and chairs and staked out a good spot on the field. As fans waited for the show to begin,

D J Brian Gray from KHCM-FM 97.5 Hot Country Radio played country hits to get the audience to have a good ol’ time.

Food booths lined the back of the field including Sam Snead’s, Schooners, Sea Breeze Restaurant and J.R. Rockers, to name a few. While waiting in line at one of the booths, Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Tim Hanley, assigned to Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, said that he has been a Chris Cagle fan for about six years. “I came out tonight with my wife and kids to get out of the house and have some fun, listen to some good music and eat some good food.”

Air Force spouse Barb Burhans, wife of Master Sgt. Doug Burhans of the 647th Security Forces Squadron, said she comes to all the free events that MWR brings. “You can’t beat the opportunity; the stars are great. We try to attend all the good entertainment we can find,” she said. “I have been a Chris Cagle fan for 10 years, and I love country music.”

“A lot of the military families are very appreciative and they are happy that we provide this kind of opportunity for them,” said Frank Faria, MWR director. “That is why we hope to do more concerts like this in the future.”

Information Technology Specialist 2nd Class Timmothy La Plante, assigned to VPU-2 at Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH), and his wife, Tiffany, have been Cagle fans since the beginning. “I think it’s great to have free concerts out here. It’s nice for MWR to allow us to enjoy this for free. It says a lot about the artist who gives back and says a lot about MWR. We just love it,” said LaPlante. “It brings everyone together,” added daughter Fallon.

Prior to the concert, a few lucky fans had the chance to meet and greet Cagle for autographs and photo opportunities.

As the sun set, Cagle took the stage with his song, “It’s Good to be Back,” as he squeezed the words, “It’s good to be here at Pearl Harbor,” into his lyrics. Throughout his performance, Cagle repeatedly thanked the military servicemen and women for their service in protecting our country.

With his easy-going charm, Cagle brought his daughter on stage and introduced her to the audience and shared a story about his farm and freedom. Then the concert continued.

“Chris Cagle was all pumped up and had a ball and was all about giving back to the military community,” Katine said.

One of the highlights of the show was when a letter from a military spouse in the audience reached Cagle on stage, which said that she is down on one knee and is asking her husband to marry her all over again. Cagle kicked it up a notch and performed one of his top singles, “Chicks Dig It.”

He kept the audience enthused and hollering for more. From filming a You Tube video on stage with a fan’s camera, signing autographs and getting the audience involved, Cagle performed his number-one single “I Breathe In, I Breathe Out” while the audience sang along.

Concluding the concert, Chris Cagle and his band members, Brian Hinchcliffe, Tim Horsley, Brian Lucas, Ryan Joseph, Charlie Crowe and Brandon Henegar, ended with a big mahalo (thank you).

“It was great performing in Pearl Harbor. Everyone was enthusiastic and excited. What an incredible moment to feel welcomed,” said Brian Hinchcliffe, bass player, and Tim Horsley, drummer.

“Chris reminds us during every show that performing for the servicemen is the main thing. We’re really lucky to perform in a gig like this and be playing for people allowing us to do what we do,” said Charlie Crowe, guitarist.

by Anna Marie General

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