Airman plays roadie for rock ‘n’ roll legends

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Scott King
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
The arena lights dimmed and thousands of fans cheered as the stage lights came to life revealing rock ‘n’ roll legends Eddie and Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony and Sammy Hagar.

While Eddie played his guitar, Staff Sgt. Scott Viers stood in the second row enjoying the fruits of his labor.

Sergeant Viers, noncommissioned officer in charge of personnel programs for the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron here, won a local radio station contest that put him smack-dab in the middle of the action, working as a road crew member for the band, Van Halen.

“I couldn’t believe it when I won [the roadie-for-the-day contest],” Sergeant Viers said. “I’ve been a huge fan of Van Halen since the 80s; so it was the opportunity of a lifetime to work alongside these guys.”

Before the band’s performance, Sergeant Viers joined the permanent road crew in setting up all aspects of the show. He ran power lines, helped set up the stage and performed sound checks.

“Michael Anthony was pretty cool,” Sergeant Viers said. “He talked with me for quite a while about all sorts of things.”

Sergeant Viers said the highlight of his day was being on stage in an empty arena as Van Halen performed their sound checks an hour before the concert.

“The hairs on my neck were standing up because it was surreal,” he said. “I was in awe at the fact that I was just footsteps away from the band that I have listened to for 20-plus years -- it was hard to explain.”

Working with the production crew was a great experience for the Airman, as well, he said.

“[The crew] thought it was admirable that I was in the Air Force and really respected me for serving my country,” Sergeant Viers said. “Talking with them gave me a new respect for being in the military. They go from tour to tour never knowing if they’ll land a job, where as I have security in what I do.”

After hours of work setting up the concert and hanging out with the band members and crews, Sergeant Viers was able to enjoy the show with his wife, Bridget, in the second row.

“I felt like I was part of the band because I knew their song order, how many encores they were going to perform and their stage acts,” he said. “They opened up with ‘Jump’ and closed the show with ‘Right Now’ -- it was a great performance.”

He said he now feels different about the band he listened to while growing up.

“I sort of feel like I know them now,” he said. “It’s one thing listening to a band all your life, but it’s an entirely different experience after being so close to them and a part of, if only for a few hours, their world.” (Courtesy of Air Mobility Command News Service)