Tops in Blue

perform at Freedom Tower lawn

Brister Thomas
Contributing Writer

Entertainers from Tops in Blue performed songs from Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson and Beyonce during their two-hour performance on Jan. 26 at Freedom Tower lawn on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Approximately 35 Airmen presented music in various categories, ranging from comedy, drama, vocals and musical instruments, for Airmen, Sailors, civilians and their families at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam who gathered on the lawn with their blankets and chairs. The band portion of Tops in Blue consists of 10 service members who have been selected from hundreds of Air Force applicants.

Since 1953, when Maj. Al Reilly (now a retired colonel) decided that the Air Force had enough fitness and sports competitions and they needed a talent contest, active-duty Air Force entertainers tour the world to entertain the forces.

The members of Tops in Blue must complete a highly-accelerated educational process to prepare them to succeed as world-class entertainers during their nine-month tour.

Some of the performers’ responsibilities include setting up the stage, lighting, audio and special effects equipment. They must learn to work as a self-contained operational unit that can manage their own lodging, transportation, dining and wardrobe.

They are known for their one-destination, one-show approach. They complete one performance per site including setup and strike-down at every location in one evening.

In the past decade, Tops in Blue was among the first entertainment groups to travel into Afghanistan, Uzebikstan, Pakistan, Qatar and Kyrgyzstan to raise the morale of the troops.

This year’s entertainers from the Air Force’s performing arts group are scheduled to perform at Super Bowl XLV.

They concluded their Jan. 26 night performance to cheers from the crowd while sharing their rendition of Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.”

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Category: News