Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rock Band Sevendust Performs for Bagram Troops

Photo: Soldiers at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, pose with members of the band Sevendust after a July 12, 2008, performance by the band. The performance completed Sevendust's first USO tour. U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Scott Davis, Combined Joint Task Force 101

Modern-rock band Sevendust put on a performance like no other for servicemembers here July 12 at the final stop on their first United Service Organizations tour.

Although the band is not known for playing acoustic sets, they still managed to put out a diverse sound that left rock fans wanting more.

"I never thought anybody could 'jam out' acoustically like they did," said Army Sgt. Mark Decker, of Company B, 101st Airborne Division Special Troops Battalion.

After the performance, Sevendust let a soldier from the crowd come up on stage and smash a guitar. They also gave him one of their guitars and gave other servicemembers a set of bongos and another guitar, practically giving away their entire set of instruments.

"I think they were awesome," said Air Force Capt. Vanessa Mahan, 455th Aerial Expeditionary Wing. "It's been a while since we've had a hardcore band here, so it's kind of refreshing. "

The band gave thanks and saluted the servicemembers for serving in the military.

"If it wasn't for you guys over here, [the Taliban] would be over there, [in the United States]," Lajon "LJ" Witherspoon, Sevendust's lead singer, said during the performance.

The band stuck around to ensure everyone who wanted an autograph, a free copy of their new CD or a picture with the band got one.

The members of Sevendust said they plan on doing another USO tour in the future.

"This, to us, has been the best thing that's ever happened in our lives," Witherspoon said. "As soon as you guys will have us back, we'll be back."

Author Army Pfc. Scott Davis serves in the Combined Joint Task Force 101 Public Affairs Office.

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