Orange County's Hollowell rocks Q-West
May 1, 2009
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE Q-WEST, Iraq - The rock band, Hollowell, jammed for Soldiers at the Favors Outdoor Theater here April 10, in the first outdoor show of the year at this remote Army logistics base in northern Iraq.
Hollowell, a progressive rock band out of Orange County, Calif., performed here for the second time, though it was the band's fourth trip to the Middle East. Band members included Joe Denges, lead vocals and guitar; Matt Hulet, lead guitar; Justin Dike, drums; and Dusty Schiefelbein, backup vocals and bass guitar.
Upon arrival, the band went to work setting up equipment for the show and going through sound checks with tour manager and sound-tech Jeffery "Rug" Western. The venue prepared, members of the band took a few minutes to meet with the base Mayor, Lt. Col. Alan Dorow, commander, 181st Brigade Support Battalion, and Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Lane, command sergeant major, 181st BSB.
That left time for dinner and a short break before the show. The evening was cool and clear with a full moon, good weather for an outdoor concert. The band took the stage just after dark. They played primarily original material, but did throw in a few covers, including crowd-favorite "Another Brick in the Wall," by Pink Floyd.
More than 150 Soldiers and civilians came out to see the concert.
"I hadn't heard of them before, but they had a real good sound," said Spc. Chris Baumgart, a native of Seattle, Wash. "It was an excellent concert."
Those Soldiers that went to the concert were glad they did.
"I wasn't planning on going to the show, but then I had some time off, so I went," said Spc. Shane Sotocole, a native of Rainier, Wash. "I was really surprised; they were great. The lead guitar player was great, inspiring."
Hollowell band members ended the concert with a tribute and prayer for U.S. Service members, and met with Soldiers after the show to sign tour posters.