CAMDEN & EATON — The United States Air Force Band of Flight’s Flight One brought rock classics, newer pop music and even a little country to Preble County last week – twice.
Flight One performed an outdoor show in Camden on Saturday, July 15, and then returned to play in Eaton at The Star Theatre on Wednesday, July 19.
Flight One does about 50 shows a year for a variety of audiences, plus more with the full Air Force Band of Flight. It fulfills a community-outreach function by performing for free at local schools, fairs, amusement parks and other events. It also takes part in various military ceremonies and events supporting 88th Air Base Wing and National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, according to Wright Patterson Air Force Base Public Affairs.
According to Flight One bassist Sgt. Greg Pflugh, the current band’s configuration is a new one, with members coming together for summer concerts with “about five rehearsals”.
“The great thing about all the folks on this stage is that everyone here is in professional musicians before we enlisted in the United States Air Force and we bring with us all those different experiences and different abilities,” Pflugh added. “I just want to let you guys know, the whole point of this is that the excellence that you see on this stage this evening, is just a mere representation of the excellence across the United States Air Force in over 135 career fields.”
“It just is a beautiful thing that we can come together in a place like this and be able to enjoy music out with our friends and family this evening,” Pflugh said.
The band played rock classics like Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker,” and Sam and Dave’s “Hold On I’m Coming,” and even threw in current music like Dua Lipa’s “Dance the Night” from the new Barbie movie’s soundtrack.
Vocalist Ainsley DeWitt joined Flight One very recently after returning from being stationed in Japan.
“As you know, I just moved here from Japan,” DeWitt shared, noting several in the band had lived and been stationed there, and actually just got back from a deployment in the Middle East. “I got deployed there for the holidays of last year, and a couple of these guys were deployed over the previous year’s holiday season. And there our mission is a little bit different because the conditions are a little bit more austere most of the time. So, while in the states we get to show you lights and loud noises, there we try but we don’t always get to do that.”
She continued, “Especially with some humanitarian missions, which the Air Force focuses on, especially in deployed environments what we will do is we’ll go out and we’ll create a little bit more of an intimate environment with some acoustic instruments. We might even totally unplug, if the power isn’t conducive to our equipment or even maybe we don’t even have airlift to get our equipment there. What we can do is take our acoustic instruments and still support the people in those regions.” Although still “plugged in” Flight One then shared what a more acoustic set might sound like in those instances.
At The Star Theatre on Wednesday, DeWitt asked the crowd to turn on their cell phone flashlights and wave them above their heads as the band performed the Journey classic “Faithfully.”
The band also recognized the various branches of the military by performing each branch’s song and welcoming the veterans and service members in the audience to stand when their song was played.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr.