MCAS IWAKUNI, Japan -- In the music industry, making music is synonymous with making money. However, no dollars were spent Saturday as the alternative band Soul Asylum put on a free concert aboard the Station in the Club Iwakuni Ballroom.
Many fans were surprised to learn the headlining band was not the usual local or unknown stateside regional band, but rather one with multi-platinum albums and a household name with fans of alternative rock.
"This is just unheard of and completely awesome of them to come to Japan, especially because we are so isolated from everything," said Cpl. Steven Johnson, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12 airframe structural mechanic. "It blew my mind."
Although there were four bands, including Soul Asylum, it wasn?t until San Diego based 619 took to the stage that everyone stood up from their comfortable patch of carpet and really got into the music. They played for what seemed forever as they performed a countless variety of new rock and alternative cover songs.
With a cheering crowd lapping the edges of the sweat-soaked stage, Soul Asylum plugged in and rocked the house. However, this was not their first performance on this side of the world for service members. The group recently played for other military installations in Korea and Japan.
"I knew they go overseas to do concerts, but I never heard of anyone coming to a military installation to do a free concert," Johnson said.
Although the band has a busy tour schedule, they enjoy making time to do shows like the one they did here.
"For me it feels really good to play for the people who make sacrifices to be here rather than be at home," said Karl Meuller, Soul Asylum bass guitar player. "They choose to be here, and it's an all-good thing."
Iwakuni may have been a quick stop for Soul Asylum, lasting just around 37 hours, but for them it was just a good way to support those who serve overseas.
"It doesn?t matter really where we perform," said Daniel Murphy, Soul Asylum guitar player and group founder. "It's just kind of fun to watch people and try to relate to the music and what we are trying to do."