Armadillos’ ‘powerful’ show features Vietnam War-era music, footage and testimony
For Sartell resident Steve Hennes, it’s John Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane” that brings him back.
The Vietnam War veteran can vividly remember walking down a concourse in 1972 to board an airplane. The lyrics, “Don’t know when I’ll be back again” resonate still.
“That one always gets to me. By the time I got orders to Vietnam, I was 20 years old and I had just gotten married,” Hennes said. “Nine months later, I was sent to Vietnam.
“It was different then. You just walked down the concourse. There was no security,” Hennes added. “You see your wife and walk away.”
That song, although not written about the war, came out when the Vietnam War — and protests back home — were at a peak. Many of the songs are still relevant today, 50 years later.
The Fabulous Armadillos are bringing the music from that tumultuous, generation-defining time to center stage with their show, “What’s Going On: Songs from the Vietnam War Era.”
“A big part of the show is thanking the veterans who never got that thank you when they got home the first time,” said Greg Armstrong, keyboardist for the Fabulous Armadillos.
HomeFront Resource Center is providing reduced-price tickets to five upcoming shows to help veterans, service members and their immediate family members experience the concert. The opportunity is made possible by a “A Community Thrives” grant from the Gannett Foundation/USA Today Network.
The reduced price shows are Oct. 10 in Detroit Lakes, Oct. 11 in Brainerd, Oct. 12 in Grand Rapids, March 28 in Worthington and — just announced this week — a matinee show on May 16 at Paramount Center for the Arts in St. Cloud.