News>Touch 'n Go brings live concerts to Americans, Portuguese
(l-r)Tech. Sgt. Jason Cale and Tech. Sgt. Craig Bowman perform during Open House at Lajes Field, Aug. 5, 2012. Cale and Bowman are part of the US Air Forces in Europe band, Touch ‘N Go. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Chenzira Mallory)
US Air Forces in Europe band, Touch N’ Go performs during Open House at Lajes Field, Aug. 5, 2012. The Open House provided an opportunity for Team Lajes to showcase our military readiness and capabilities to our local community. The event featured various activities including a mini bazaar, military working dog demonstrations, aircraft displays and live performances by Rock After Midnight (R.A.M) and the USAFE Band, Touch ‘n Go. (Photo by Lucas Silva)
USAFE Band Touch 'n Go performs a concert during Praia Fest Aug. 7. Despite the rainy forecast, they continued to entertain the local Portuguese community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Chenzira Mallory)
by Staff Sgt. Angelique N. Smythe
65th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
8/9/2012 - LAJES FIELD, Azores -- The U.S. Air Forces in Europe Band "Touch 'n Go" performed four times for the people of Terceira within three days Aug. 5 to 7.
The team of musicans, vocalists and audio engineer entertained a total audience of 5,500 people during two concerts at Lajes Open House 2012 on Aug. 5.
They raised the roof at the Community Activities Center for almost 100 Airmen and family members Aug. 6.
And at just about midnight Aug. 7, even after a rain downpour, these U.S. ambassadors got the Portuguese community raising their hands and jumping in the air during Praia Fest in the city of Praia da Vitoria.
"Playing for Praia Fest was a blast," said Tech. Sgt. Craig Bowman, professional vocalist. "It was especially fun because at Praia Fest, you have the Portuguese families and friends and all the military community come out and it's one big conglomeration of happy people who just want to hear a good live concert. We were tired, but it was totally worth the hard work."
Music is an international language - even though they're of a different culture, he said, people instantly connect because they know the tunes.
"We had a great crowd," said Bowman. "We got up there and we just got instantly energized by the audiences. The Portuguese people really love music. They love live music. The best thing you can do for a band is get up and jump and shout and dance and enjoy the music. The Portuguese people always seem to do that, so we love coming here."
Tech. Sgt. Nick Wellman, audio engineer, said this is his second time to the island and he's had a great time putting on shows for the communities both on and off base.
"They're really energetic and they seem to have a good time at our concerts so we're really excited to be here," Wellman said. "Even if they don't understand all the words, they can feel the song. Music evokes emotion in everybody so the language doesn't matter and it's really fun."
The band performed modern songs, such as "Don't Stop Believing" and "Good Life," and sung hits from artists, such as Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.
Wellman said the team is excited to represent the Air Force to the civilians here.
"For us to be up there performing in military uniform, it's a really important message in giving the gift of music," Bowman said. "Having them, the people of Portuguese culture and the people who live on the island, see us in uniform giving them a gift on behalf of the United States is a really cool feeling."