MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
More than 1,700 country music lovers filled the air station theater for the 4th annual WRNS Guitar Pull concert Nov. 14, hosted by Marine Corps Community Services.
Country Music Association award-winning band Little Big Town headlined the show, which also featured Josh Thompson, Dustin Lynch and rising star Kelleigh Bannen.
Patrons fought the cold to line up outside the theater as early as 2 p.m. By the time the doors opened, the lines wrapped around the corners of the building.
The packed theater exploded with cheers as the host of the show introduced Bannen, who sang the national anthem as the Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron color guard presented the colors.
Bannen said this was her second time performing the national anthem, and that it is a tough song to sing, but singing it for Marines humbled her and made it a little easier.
Following her rendition of the anthem, Bannen played an acoustic set for the audience as the other three acts prepared backstage.
“Performing for the Marines or any military branch is a great honor,” said Karen Fairchild, member of the CMA’s Vocal Group of the Year, Little Big Town. “We love performing for the world’s hardest working people and the true heroes of this great nation.”
Patrons danced and sang along with all three bands as they played single after single to include, “Boondocks,” by Little Big Town, “Cowboys and Angels,” by Dustin Lynch, and “Way Out Here,” by Josh Thompson.
“This show was awesome,” said Cpl. Casey D. Rice, an automotive organizational mechanic with Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 2. “It makes me feel appreciated that these superstars came out to Cherry Point to perform for the Marines, Sailors and their families. It’s nice to get out of the hustle and bustle of everyday life to enjoy some good music and good company.”
Lynch said performing for service members of any armed forces branch makes his job all the more rewarding. Besides, he made a promise to a grandfather who once wore a uniform.
“I have gotten a lot of emails from men and women overseas who hear my song ‘Cowboys and Angels,’ and say it helped them get through their deployment,” said Lynch. “I promised my (grandfather) that any chance I got to perform for these amazing men and women, I would. I would do these shows every day if I could.”