Sailors crowded the deckplates, singing and screaming, as We the Kings rocked the hangar bay aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) during a Navy Entertainment-sponsored concert June19.
The American rock band hails from Bradenton, Florida, and rose to fame after the release of their 2007 self-titled album featuring platinum single, “Check Yes Juliet.”
“I was so excited to hear that the band was going to perform tonight,” said Hospitalman Kasean Mcintosh. “I’m ready to rock and roll and listen to what they’re all about.”
We the Kings kicked off the show with one of their singles, “Any Other Way,” as they invited the crew to be a part of some of their video footage for an upcoming music video to the same tune.
“I’m glad you guys are pumped,” said We the Kings lead singer and guitarist Travis Clark. “It doesn’t matter if you don’t know the words as long as you guys have an incredible time!”
Operations Specialist Seaman Imani Foley said she was glad to push away from her desk to hang out with her friends while having some fun.
“It’s fun to break away from the day-to-day,” Foley said. “It’s not often that we get the opportunity to do something like this while out to sea.”
We the Kings played original music, sprinkled in a few covers, and made sure to show their gratitude to the crew.
“I think this is the best show we’ve ever been to,” said Clark. “To think that we’re on this huge ship performing in front of all of you – not to mention all of these jets. It truly is incredible. We’re grateful from the bottom of our hearts for all that you do.”
Following the performance, Sailors formed a line that snaked through the cavernous hangar bay as band members lingered late into the night, signing autographs and taking photos with the crew.
“It looked like everybody had a really good time,” said Information Technician 2nd Class Christopher McCall. “It’s refreshing to have the band on board. It’s amazing to know people care about what we’re doing out here.”
Ship’s Serviceman 2nd Class Erickson Jones, echoed McCall’s sentiments.
“The performance was awesome,” said Jones. “They really hyped me up and I had a lot of fun!”
Clark said the band submitted to Navy Entertainment for a tour to an aircraft carrier for the last five years but due to scheduling conflicts the band couldn’t make it until this year. We the Kings checked onboard with one goal in mind.
“We have one mission,” Clark exclaimed. “Everyone here has a mission but ours is to play an absolutely incredible show and just to leave everyone with an amazing and excited feeling.”
Clark sat down with Capt. Jeffrey Craig, TR’s executive officer, and Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Justin Ailes for an interview broadcast ship-wide on TR’s Rough Rider Radio.
“It’s been a really wild ride. We’ve been to places we’d never thought we’d go. We’ve performed at NFL games, playoff games and at huge stadiums but this visit aboard TR tops all of that,” said Clark. “We were just talking about how surreal this is to be onboard an aircraft carrier. We’re baffled and unbelievably honored to be here.”
Theodore Roosevelt is the flagship of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG), which is composed of Carrier Strike Group 12, Carrier Air Wing 1, Destroyer Squadron 2 staff, the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) and the guided-missile destroyers USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), USS Farragut (DDG 99) and USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98).
Roosevelt is deployed in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, strike operations in Iraq and Syria as directed, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the region.
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