News: ‘Flag Ship’ Band Rocks Odessa during Sea Breeze
Story by Lt.j.g. Gary Keen
ODESSA, Ukraine—Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe rock band ‘Flag Ship’ performed a free concert for the local Odessa community at Gorsad Garden, here, July 22 during exercises Sea Breeze 2010.
The concert was part of a community relations project designed to share some of the American culture with local community.
“We come out to support the Navy’s positive image and share the American culture with the Ukrainian people,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Brian Wirt, a musician, lead guitarist and leading petty officer. “Sea Breeze is wrapping up and we want the Ukrainian people to learn a little more about Americans than what they see on T.V. and read on the Internet.”
Flag Ship performed for one hour and for a group of more than 100 people. During their performance they played some recent songs and some favorite classics like, ‘Walk this way’ by Aerosmith.
“The crowd was amazing, they really got into the music,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Kori Gillis, a musician and lead vocalist. “There was a lot more excitement because there was so, much media. It gives us an adrenaline rush… the audience got the same rush and it made the performance that much better. ”
It was not long before the crowd began to cheer and sing along to the music. For many of the people this was the first time they saw a U.S. band perform live.
“They played one of my favorite songs, ‘I Gotta Feeling’ [by Black Eyed Peas],” said Dima Leonov, local Odessa resident. “I knew the song from the video on T.V., but this is the first time I same a U.S. band play it or any song live.”
“This was the first time I saw U.S. band play music [live],” said Dasha Dougenko, local Odessa resident. “I really like all the songs and I hope they come back again someday.”
Sea Breeze is an invitational combined and joint maritime exercise in the Black Sea with the goals of enhancing Black Sea nation maritime security capabilities and improving Black Sea theater security cooperation strategies. Sea Breeze is the largest exercise this year in the Black Sea including 25 ships, 13 aircraft and more than 1,600 military members from Azerbaijan, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Moldova, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine and United States.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, U.S. 6th Fleet visit www.c6f.navy.mil .