Air Force Academy’s Blue Steel to play at Columbia

Air Force Academy Blue Steel band

Air Force Academy Blue Steel band. 
Courtesy of Blue Steel

Air Force Academy band Blue Steel is known for performing traditional rock and patriotic songs, which usually takes place outside of theatres.

Blue Steel keyboardist, guitarist, vocalist and tour director senior Airman Craig Larimer, said that the band is honored to play at the Columbia Theatre and is excited about the change in performance venue.

“We play all over the world,” said Larimer. “From Air Force hangars, school gyms and in the desert supporting our troops while on deployment. So when we have the privilege to perform in beautiful historic concert halls, we are elated.”

According to Columbia Theatre Director Roy Blackwood, members from the Air Force Academy do performances in order to promote and recruit students.

“They’ll do a theme song of each of the five branches of military,” said Blackwood. “Those are all of the recognizable songs. All the veterans will stand up and salute the song for their branch. They want to appeal to young people in a way they can understand and relate to through contemporary music, appeal to college age students and beyond and have people gain an interest in the Air Force Academy.”

Blue Steel consists of guitarist and Staff Sergeant Joseph Gacioch, drummer, percussionist and Staff Sergeant Quincy Brown, vocalist and Airman First Class Danielle Diaz, bassist, music director and Staff Sergeant Colin Trusedell, audio engineer and Non-Commissioned Officer in charge of the group Master Sergeant Janusz Masztalerz and Larimer.

Blackwood revealed that the concert is free, but will be ticketed in order to have enough seats for patrons. Blue Steel will perform at the Columbia Theatre on Thursday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. Tickets can be obtained from the Columbia Theatre and The Daily Star.

Larimer and his band members kept the local community’s recent hardships in mind for the preparation of their upcoming performance.

“People attending this concert should walk away with a sense of pride in their community and country,” said Larimer. “We will be highlighting those serving and who have served and this includes military, first responders, public servants and even the helpful neighbor and community leader.”  

For Blackwood, being able to bring unity to the community and helping to promote the Air Force Academy is satisfying and he anticipates a full house for the concert.

“I know that they’ll be excited about it,” said Blackwood. “Many members of the community are veterans, or have family that are active duty. The community understands that freedom is not free.”