Marine Corps Air ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, calif. --
Country music artists Big and Rich, and Cowboy Troy performed for the Combat Center at Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field May 18. The concert was a part of the ‘We Salute You’ celebration.
In addition to the live musical performance, the event included static displays of different vehicles Marines use and games like bounce houses, a zip line, rock climbing and laser tag for families to enjoy.
“It is important for there to be events like this on base,” said Lance Cpl. Jose Salazar. “Twentynine Palms is considered to be in the middle of nowhere so when there is an event like this one, it puts a smile on all of our faces. We all work hard. It’s nice to be able to relax and enjoy a show.”
According to Big and Rich, nothing makes them happier than playing for the service members of the United States.
The concert was Big and Rich’s second time performing for the Combat Center. Their last performance aboard the installation was in 2006.
“I remember the first time we were coming out here all I could think was, ‘where are we’,” said William Kenneth Alphin, the artist known as Big Kenny in the duo. “This is one of the best crowds we have ever played for. They are such patriotic people and it is amazing to see the military side of things.”
Big and Rich, and Cowboy Troy spoke with Marines to learn about the different vehicles showcased in the static display.
“No matter who you are, everyone loves the idea of being in a tank,” said John Rich. “I couldn’t imagine having to work with some of that equipment every day. I can tell it takes a lot of discipline.”
Big Kenny and John Rich were solo artists before becoming the Big and Rich duo. They released their first studio album, ‘Horse of a Different Color,’ in 2004 which produced four of Top 40 hits. Since then, the duo have been nominated for Country Music Television’s ‘Vocal Duo of the Year’ award in 2012 and nominated for Country Music Awards’ ‘Top Vocal Duo’ award in 2013.
“The response we get from the crowd is amazing but they are the true heroes,” Big said. “These concerts are a way of saying thank you to all of them.”