AL ASAD, Iraq -- Insoul, an R&B band from Los Angeles, performed a two-hour set for the troops here, July 3.
The show, which was sponsored by the United Service Organization, consisted of cover songs from the 70’s to today. It gave service members a chance to take a break from the day to day operations and stressful conditions of serving in a combat zone.
“The concert was a nice break,” said Lance Cpl. Dave Gibson, a logistics clerk with Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 2 and Brookfield, Wisc., native. “After a long week it is nice to have a show where letting loose is encouraged. It lets you forget about the stresses of being deployed for a little bit.”
Insoul is in the midst of a month long tour that has taken them to Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait and now Iraq. This is the second USO tour for the band in as many years.
“Last year coming to Iraq was kind of a last minute thing and we were all a little nervous, but after thinking how long all of the service members spend here a couple of weeks didn’t seem like much,” said Insoul drummer, Cale Giachello.
This year, after their previous experience, the band was excited to return.
“The response we get from the crowds here are great,” Giachello said. “We had people dancing and really enjoying themselves tonight. It was a really fun show. That doesn’t always happen.”
“Sometimes getting the crowd to get out of that combat attitude is tough,” Giachello said. “But after a few songs, they usually start to loosen up. When the crowd gets into the performance they help us put on the best show possible.”
Insoul’s stay was short, but allowed those attending to sit back, relax and reenergize.
“The two-hour break was all I needed,” Gibson said. “It is good to get away from that ‘work all the time mentality’ we get while deployed. Being able to enjoy a good show and now being able to refocus is a good way to keep our heads in the game.”
*For more information about this story please contact Cpl. Herron at firstname.lastname@example.org*