On Saturday August 6th hundreds of motorcycle riders, music enthusiasts, Veterans and supporters came out to Cheney Stadium in Tacoma WA to experience a motorcycle poker run and outdoor rock show unlike any other to benefit the programs of Operation Ward 57; a small grass roots nonprofit providing critical support to post 9/11 wounded, inured and ill service men and women, veterans and their families.
In its 6th year, Rock & Rally For The Troops, an all age’s music festival and benefit has flown under the radar of many but each year delivers a bigger and bigger punch and offers the highest quality local and national music around. Originating in 2011 at Rock the Dock Pub & Grill in Tacoma the event has travelled to Louie G’s Pizza in Fife to its current home for the last 2 years outside Cheney Stadium. The venue provides ample parking for the motorcycle riders and attendees as well as provides a stunning backdrop for the stage, vendors, beer garden and silent auction.
This year those who were smart enough to grab a ticket were treated to a killer show put on by two local bands, Clear the Chaosand Rain Light Fade followed by two national acts Minneapolis based 3 Pill Morning and Toronto based Thousand Foot Krutch.
There is a lot to be said about a band willing to donate their time to a cause and that is exactly what both Clear the Chaos and Rain Light Fade did. Both bands threw down incredible sets and really set the tone of the crowd from jump street.
3 Pill Morning surprised many with their blue-collar hard rock turning the crowd into a sea of fist pumping and head bobbing masses. These guys have, what seems to be, an ever growing fan-base as they continue to win over the hearts and ears of those in attendance at every show they play. Once their set was over the crowd rushed the merch booth for a copy of their latest CD “Never Look Back” proving again that there is no such thing as a sophomore slump…. At least not for these guys.
Then there was Thousand Foot Krutch. What can we say other than this is a band you must see live. The production quality of Thousand Foot Krutch’s show, between the lights and sound, was unlike any show we have seen at any venue in the South Sound. Between being some of the nicest guys we have ever met, the band poured their heart and soul into the performance and it was visible by the reaction of the fans in the crowd. At the end of the night the crowd began chanting “One More Song!” demanding a 2 song encore performance by Thousand Foot Krutch. See the full setlist below.
But let’s not forget the whole purpose of the event – and that was about raising funds for Operation Ward 57 and supporting wounded heroes. Many of the bands, speakers, emcee’s and production donated their time and equipment in order to maximize the funds raised at the event. And when it was all said and done, the tour buses back on the road, fans tucked into their beds with smiles on their faces and the bikes tucked back in the garages, over $23,000 was raised to ensure our Veterans are taken care of!
This event often surprises and amazes new attendees with the highest caliber music around and many vow to return the next year in order to support the cause and catch the next surprise performance or up and coming performer. To stay up to date be sure to follow the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rockandrallyforthetroops and the website at www.rockandrallyforthetroops.com