Fort Rucker kicks off weekend with vigor
CW4 Jesse Pascua, 98th Army Band commander, gets some help conducting from Elizabeth Nowel, 4, during the Music Under the Alabama Stars event at Howze Field Aug. 19. A second concert takes place Friday at 6:30 p.m. in the same location.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (September 15, 2011) -- Friday evening promises to be another memorable one for Fort Rucker Soldiers and Families, with an energy-filled band concert on Howze Field, followed by stress-relieving laughter and lively, crowd-pleasing country music in The Landing Ballroom.

A crowd of more than 200 attended the hour-long Music Under the Alabama Stars concert by the 98th Army "Silver Wings" Band Aug. 19, and as dusk descended upon the assembly, the band left the audience wanting more.

And more is what the audience will get at Friday's concert. The rockin' will start at 6:30 p.m. when two 98th Army Band ensembles kick off the evening's fun.

"Our rock band, Crossfire, and our funky New Orleans street band, Blackout Brass, will share the hour-long concert," said Sgt. 1st Class Jason Emanuelson, band operations NCO in charge.

"We have an energetic song list prepared to get the weekend off to a vigorous start," said Staff Sgt. Jason Paull, bass guitarist.

"Armed with dueling guitarists, fiery drums, rockin' bass riffs, smokin' keys and sax, and energetic vocals, Crossfire performs all your favorite tunes from artists like Lynyrd Skynyrd and Van Halen, to Jason Mraz and John Mayer, to Muse and Kings of Leon, to the Beatles and Otis Redding, and many more," Paull said. "In contrast, Blackout Brass starts with traditional New Orleans street band instrumentation, incorporates hard hitting funk rhythms, and adds a generous helping of take-no-prisoners attitude to create the funkiest musical gumbo you'll hear outside of New Orleans.

"Authentic, energetic, and action packed, each show performed by the Blackout Brass is sure to get any crowd out of their seats and dancin' in the street to their infectious grooves and charismatic stage performance!" he added.

"I just want everyone to come out and relax and enjoy this quality entertainment in a relaxed atmosphere. The last concert was hugely successful if the spirit of the crowd was any indication. Folks just brought their lawn chairs, coolers and favorite refreshments to start the weekend off on a festive note," said Maj. Gen. Anthony Crutchfield, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general.

Beginning at 8 p.m., The Landing patrons will have a chance to laugh out loud at another presentation of Comedy Live featuring Tom Cotter and Mo Amer. Cotter has been featured on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Comedy Central, while Amer has performed in over two dozen countries on five continents, including the well-renowned venue, London Apollo.

According to Brian Jackson, Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation program manager, Comedy Live is one of DFMWR's featured events throughout the year.

Jackson said he started Comedy Live back in October and is impressed with how the program has developed.

"The Landing has been packed every time we've held Comedy Live, with the most attendance being over 400 back in February," Jackson said. "The shows keep getting better and better. Comedy Live is an affordable, entertaining event. It is a great morale booster and gives the community a chance to relieve some stress and laugh it up."

The Comedy Lounge in Legends, directly next to the ballroom, will have food and beverages for sale for patrons to eat and drink before the show begins.

And in case the comedians leave the crowd wanting still more, Emma King and the Heartsets will entertain with their country rock sound until 1 a.m.

"Originally from Northern England, now based in Nashville, Tenn., the band will be featured on PBS this coming fall," Jackson said.

Jackson has a knack for putting together affordable, quality entertainment for the Fort Rucker community. And it isn't by chance.

"I go to a conference every year called APCA (Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities) seeking various forms of entertainment to bring to Fort Rucker. To pay $10 and get a two-hour comedy show and an awesome band, you can't beat that," Jackson said.

Col. James A. Muskopf, Fort Rucker garrison commander, has attended past FMWR programs, and sees them as a great family value.

"Brian's events are well organized and very reasonably priced for the entertainment you get," he said.

Page last updated Thu September 15th, 2011 at 09:31