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“Epic Flood” Beatles and Beyond Concert at Army Entertainment
By 1SG James Kruczek
323d Army Band
Photo credit: SFC Dion Kruczek
SFC Jesse Bolanos sings to a packed house on 30 May 2012 for the "Beatles and Beyond" Troop Concert by the "Epic Flood" Band.
On Wednesday evening, 30 May, 2012, the “Epic Flood” band performed for over 500 new Soldiers in the Army Entertainment Historic Ft Sam Houston Theater. This group consisted of the combined Musical Performance Teams (MPT) C and (MPT) D pop groups from the 323d Army Band “Ft Sam’s Own”. The show was entitled "Beatles and Beyond". The first half was an Army story told through music of the Beatles focusing not only on the deployed Soldier, but also highlighting the tough role the Army Family plays in the success of our mission and the strength of our nation. The second half took a lighter turn, and became a rockin’ party with classic rock and R&B hits. The show featured videos of deployed Soldiers and families, video game trailers and gameplay, along with stunning visual effects, and some comedy courtesy of Comedy Central’s Key and Peele.
The first part of the show featured the combined groups and consisted of Beatles classics, some performed as originally recorded, using a quartet of String Bass, Viola, Flute and Oboe to emulate the lush orchestral sounds captured by Sir George Martin on “Something” and “Here Comes the Sun”. Some selections were modernized to show the songs’ timelessness. “Yesterday” was performed as recorded by Boys II Men, while still keeping the original string parts intact. “Eleanor Rigby” rocked out in the style of Walk off the Earth adding distorted guitar, heavy bass effects, and drum set all behind the persistent rhythm of the string quartet. “Blackbird” was lifted by SFC Dion Kruczek, SFC Jesse Bolanos and SGT Tony Cooper using the beautiful harmonies created by Crosby, Stills and Nash. SFC Jesse Bolanos, SSG LaLance Richardson, SSG Reggie Sampson, and SGT Tony Cooper put an amazing spin on “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and took us all back to the 80s R&B groove of Lakeside. Their choreography was the highlight of the show! We also managed to sneak in some solo work from Sir Paul McCartney using our “String” Quartet and a horn section on “Live and Let Die”, the show’s opening number!
The second part featured the “Witch Doctors”, (MPT C) and “Texas Flood”, (MPT D) performing highlights from their individual setlists. The “Witch Doctors” featured SFC Jesse Bolanos, SSG LaLance Richardson, and SGT Tony Cooper on modern pop and classic R&B from Cee Lo Green, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and Maze. Then the “Texas Flood” brought the rock! Again featuring SGT Tony Cooper, along with SGT Bridgette Dyer SFC Dion Kruczek. Performing on classic hits from Guns & Roses, Pat Benatar, and Joan Jett. Led Zeppelin, and Iron Maiden. “Epic Flood” NCOIC and Army Band visionary SFC Dion Kruczek closed the show with an Epic version of “Love Reign O’er Me” by The Who. This was a final dedication to the Soldiers still deployed and the sacrifices they and their families all make every day. SFC Kruczek said, “Our goal was to tell the Army Story to show that we are one team, one family, and to come together through music.”
Other performers included SGM Robert Burford-Bass Guitar, MSG Eric Basora-Oboe, SFC Arturo Flores-drums, SFC Khristina Hoover-Baxter-Flute, SSG Jason Lane-Double Bass/Bass Guitar, SSG Bobby Olivarri-Trumpet, SGT Ryan Couvillion-Bass/Steel Guitar, SGT Ian Schmidt-Guitar, SPC Andre Badeaux-Guitar. Our multimedia was controlled flawlessly by SGT Sammy Salinas.
The show could not have come together without the strong support of the Army Entertainment staff who provided the use of IMCOMs Historic Fort Sam Houston Theater and Entertainment Training Facility. The 323d Army Band “Ft Sam’s Own” would like to thank Mr James K McIntyre, Mr Johnny Stewart, Mr Stephen Smith, and Mr Blair Ferrier for their outstanding support of our event.