USS JOHN C. STENNIS, At Sea -- Rock band "Taking Back Sunday" visited the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and performed a concert for Sailors Jan. 11 in the ship's hangar bay.
The visit, sponsored by Navy Entertainment, gave band members Eddie Reyes (rhythm guitar), Adam Lazzara (lead vocals), John Nolan (lead guitar), Shaun Cooper (bass guitar), and Mark O'Connell (drums) a chance to experience aircraft carrier operations at sea as well as entertain Sailors and thank them for their sacrifice.
This is the first time the band has performed on an aircraft carrier. While on board, they spent time touring various spaces, visiting with Sailors and signing autographs.
"It's pretty surreal for us," said Lazzara. "Just watching how everything operates is pretty incredible. There's a lot of moving parts on the ship and seeing it run so efficiently is impressive."
Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Francesca Cerniglia said that it was awesome to get a concert T-shirt signed by the band during the visit.
"I didn't expect to get the shirt signed when I saw them play at the Vans Warped Tour a couple years ago, let alone while we were at sea," said Cerniglia.
"It's nice to give back to those who are making sacrifices, and being on a ship is one of the biggest thrills we've had in our lives," said Lazzara.
The band played a number of songs including "Liar," "Make Damn Sure" and "You're So Last Summer."
"I've been waiting to see the band in concert for a long time," said Yeoman 3rd Class Jennifer Reeder, from Solvang, Calif. "So it was great hearing them especially while we're on deployment."
The John C. Carrier Stennis Strike Group, consisting of Stennis, Carrier Air Wing 9, Destroyer Squadron 21, and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) are forward deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility to strengthen regional partnerships, sustain maritime security, and support combatant commander requirements for assets in the area.