Popular regional band The Fabulous Armadillos bring their “What’s Going On? Songs from the Vietnam Era” to the Wilcox Theater at the Myles Reif Performing Arts Center in Grand Rapids on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m.
The St. Cloud, Minnesota organization HomeFront Resource Center (HFRC), received a $25,000 grant from USA TODAY Network’s A Community Thrives initiative, which allows all veterans and military personnel a buy one-get one free ticket for the show.
HFRC has been helping service-members, veterans, and their families since March 2013 when a community coalition came together to talk about how to make veteran programs more accessible. Following months of intensive research and community input, a resource navigation center was identified as a way to cut through the white noise of multiple services and programs.
What’s Going On is a concert experience that incorporates live music, narration and video to provide the audience a multi-media deep dive into the 60’s and early 70’s and the Vietnam War. Through song and imagery this concert examines the time period, but concludes on a note of inspiration and hope for a better tomorrow.
“Music created during the Vietnam War is some of the most prolific in the history of popular music,” said Reif Arts Council Marketing Director Paul M. Gregersen. “The Fabulous Armadillos are the perfect band to bring these songs to Grand Rapids.”
Formed in 2006, The Fabulous Armadillos have established a large and loyal following throughout Minnesota with their recreations of songs from many genres of music from Country to Motown, to Heavy Metal to 70's Soft Rock and do them just like you remember.
“The Armadillos have such a devoted following because the music they perform resonates with listeners across the spectrum from all walks of life,” Gregersen said.
The idea of The Fabulous Armadillos started with a diverse group of musicians who came together to perform themed concerts in St. Cloud, Minn. Themes have included One Hit Wonders, Woodstock, Motown, Singer/Songwriters, Stadium Rock, and more. The band has played more than 44 themes.
The band has brought hundreds of special guests in for their shows comprising of local and national talent. The core band features musicians with a deep history with some great regional and national bands from their past including Greg "Gary D." Armstrong on keys (GB Leighton, Bobby Vee and The Vees, Heartbeat), Paul "Stretch" Diethelm on guitar (Jonny Lang, Slip Twister, Greystone Rockers), Billy Scherer on vocals (Johnny Holm Band), Pamela McNeill on vocals (Pamela McNeill Band, Rumours and Dreams, Lamont Cranston) Mike Zeleny on bass (Airtight, Slip Twister, Greystone Rockers). Jay O'Donnell on drums (The Britton Brothers, Slip Twister, Greystone Rockers). Their 8-piece band also features a horn section with Pat Thorn on trumpet and Mike Krietzer on saxophone.
Tickets for “What’s Going On? Songs from the Vietnam Era” are available at reifcenter.org, by phone (210) 327) 5780, or at the Reif Box Office 720 NW Conifer Drive in Grand Rapids. To take advantage of the special veterans BOGO offer, utilize coupon code VETBOGO at check-out.