Joint Base San Antonio Community
Band of Brothers
Story by Lauren Padden on 07/05/2019
“35 to Nowhere” the rock band of the 323d Army Band, may not be brothers by birth but the Fort Sam Houston Soldiers perform like a brotherhood bonded by the music they play.
Taking their talents on the road, 35 to Nowhere members performed their rock-centric set at Freedom Over Texas a 4th of July celebration in Houston, July 4.
During their set, Sgt. First Class Christopher Stone, the band’s vocalist, told the crowd of over 250 spectators the band’s name comes from their commute to work – sitting in I-35 traffic and feeling like they are getting nowhere.
Playing both classic rock hits as well as today’s hit songs, the crowd heard a mix of music for everyone, prompting members of the crowd, both young and old, to get up and dance in front of the stage.
Sgt. Guerin Williams, the band’s drummer said, “When I play, I want people to remember what they saw and I want them to have an experience. If I can help in giving them that experience then I have done my job well.” He continued, “I play because I love to see other people have a good time and I love to see other people feel something. Music does just that.”
While the music may bring the people to the stage to listen and enjoy however, the music isn’t their only goal.
“We are giving them a face to put to the name of the Army,” said Sgt. First Class Kristopher Hitchman bass guitarist.
Hitchman explained that some crowds have veterans present and when they see the uniform and hear a song it can take them back to a place that reminds them of their service. For others, we might be the first Soldiers they have seen in person, he said.
Blending the mission of both performing their craft and sharing the Army values with American communities, the band was able to connect with the crowd for over an hour.
The show didn’t finish with a simple ending though, with encouragement from the audience for an encore, 35 to Nowhere delivered one final song.
As Stone pointed to the crowd he said, “Look around, this is why we do what we do, thank you for your support.”
Stone then pointed to the military vehicles behind the crowd on display, “You may know someone who is riding in one of those vehicles right now overseas and you want them to come home. It might be a brother or a sister, mom, dad, niece or nephew, we all know someone who is in harm’s way and we want them to come home sweet home.”
With a solo intro to Mtley Cre’s Home Sweet Home, Stone’s vocals built as he was joined by the strum of the guitar and the beat of the drum giving the crowd the finale they asked for.