Country music star Tracy Lawrence is playing a free show at Hood Stadium on Thursday night as part of the Ben Hogan Foundation’s two-day appreciation event for military families.
The multiplatinum, award-winning recording artist has had 22 songs on the Billboard top 10 charts, 18 No. 1 singles and sold more than 13 million albums. Lawrence is best known for songs “Paint Me A Birmingham,” “Time Marches On,” “Alibis,” and “Find Out Who Your Friends Are.”
“I love the positive feel I get from military folks,” Lawrence said during a phone interview from his home in Nashville, Tenn. “They sacrifice a whole lot for us and it’s important for us to show we appreciate what they do and the sacrifice they make. I’m gone for weeks at a time periodically and that’s nothing compared to these folks who are gone for a year or two ... and to be in harm’s way at the same time. I have a lot of respect for them.”
This will be the first outside entertainer to host a show at the new venue.
“It’s been ready,” said Norma Hernandez, special events coordinator with Fort Hood’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. “This is the only entertainer that’s going to use the stadium as is. They’re very happy with the setup. They’ll bring in some lights.
“We have two green rooms and a meet-and-greet area that would accommodate him very well and we’re very excited they’re going to be using the facility as it was meant to be used,” she added. The 1st Cavalry Division Band was the first to host a concert at the stadium last year.
Park opens show
Opening for Lawrence is Austin-based singer Kyle Park, who recently released his fourth album, “Beggin’ For More.”
During a phone interview, Park said it’s really cool to be playing a free concert for service members and their families.
“I’m absolutely excited about it. It’s being put on to give military men and women a night of fun,” he said. “I’m more than happy to kick off the show for Tracy Lawrence.”
Park said he was raised on and inspired by ’90s country music and is looking forward to Lawrence’s set himself.
As for his own music, Park described it as “anything you hear on the radio. Not too honky tonk, not too pop.”
During the concert, concession stands will be open for beer and drink sales and five food trucks will sell everything from gourmet hot dogs to Mexican and Cajun cuisine, Hernandez said.
The venue fits up to 15,000 people and guests are welcome to bring blankets and lawn chairs to sit on the football field instead of the bleachers, she added.
“I’m looking for drawing in a big crowd,” Hernandez said. “It’s going to be our last free event for Fort Hood. Any other concert that we have we will have patrons pay for tickets.”
The concert runs from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday at Hood Stadium. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the event is open to all Defense Department ID card holders and their guests. For more information, go to http://hoodmwr.com/events.htm.