The Show behind the Show

  • Published
  • By Jenny Gordon
  • 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
There's always a show behind the show. For the active-duty performers of Air Force Tops in Blue, their show is an entirely self-contained unit capable of setting up a stage anywhere in a few short hours.

"We can stop in the middle of a highway and put on a show - we travel with everything," said 1st Lt. Robert Doyle, tour manager and vocalist.

When the team travels stateside, its convoy includes a tour bus, two semi trucks and a vehicle that tows the show's own generator, used for power onstage.

Lights, stage equipment, speakers, costumes, instruments, cables and all support fixtures are maintained and set up from city to city.

"Every time we visit a new venue, we re-examine its size and layout, and sometimes change the configuration of our stage to meet that venue," Doyle added.

This year's show, annually designed around the talent of an existing team, is titled "Rhythm Nation," and celebrates the change in American music over the past 100 years.

Different genres are performed from Elvis to Little Richard, and offer something for everyone in a family-friendly environment. The shows are free.

The crew, who by the way all assist with stage setup and takedown, currently includes 34 vocalists, dancers, and band and technical members. All have joined TIB and are stationed from across the globe.