News: Lt. Dan Band Rocks MCBH
Story by Lance Cpl. James Sauter
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII - Fans from every military service and their families came together by the hundreds to be dazzled and awed by psychedelic lights and rock n’ roll, as actor and musician Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band rocked Dewey Square on Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Feb. 11.
The United Services Organization-sponsored event covered classic songs from bands such as Lynyrd Skynyrd and Journey, and contemporary songs from artists such as Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce.
“One thing I’ve seen dozens and hundreds of times when playing for the troops is the smiles on their faces,” Sinise said. “This is a fully loaded, high energy fun show. It’s really designed for the people we’re playing for. I just don’t want to come out and play cover tunes; I want the audience to interact with the band and have a great time.”
After a brief introduction by Col. Brian P. Annichiarico, MCB Hawaii base commander, and two Medal of Honor recipients, Annichiarico announced, “Give it up for Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band!”
The band came center stage and kicked off the concert with “Synchronicity,” by the Police and “September,” by Earth, Wind & Fire.
“Everybody on your feet,” Sinise shouted to the crowd. He then invited the children in the audience to come on stage and sing along with the band for the song “Life is A Highway,” by Tom Cochrane.
“With this band, I really get the audience involved and I want them to participate in the show,” Sinise said. “This is all for them and I see a lot of smiling faces and that’s what we’re here for.”
The audience chanted “Lieutenant Dan” after each song ended. Audience members huddled as close to the stage as they could to get a better look at the man, famously known as the character Lt. Dan Taylor.
“When I started doing tours, most people didn’t know what my name was so they just called me Lt. Dan,” Sinise said about fans’ relationship with the character. “[The service members] appreciate the character because he has a military background and our wounded men and women think that I know what they’re going through because I played a wounded veteran. The story of Lt. Dan is a good one because he’s standing up strong in the beginning and he gets knocked down and gets back up in the end.”
To always keep the show interesting, the band alternated lead singers to provide a wide range of vocals and talent for the audience to enjoy. While the show may have been the first time young children heard of Gary Sinise and the band, some parents and other visitors could remember when “Forrest Gump” came out in theaters.
“I’m here on vacation with my family and we were invited by my father to show,” said Kim Root, a tourist from Kentucky. “We know of Gary Sinise and we thought a band called the Lt. Dan Band was a great idea and wanted to see him.”
No concert would have been complete without an encore, especially when the audience sings along to “Don’t Stop Believin,’” by Journey and “God Bless the USA,” by Lee Greenwood.
“You’re the very small percent of Americans that defend us — the defenders and providers of freedom,” Sinise said. “We can’t take freedom for granted and we can’t thank you enough, Semper Fi!”