North Carolina, USA

Kennedy Space Center Gets The Blues

Bruce Willis and his Blues Band Perform

ORANGE COUNTY – Despite the continuous cloudiness and rainfall that soaked much of central and coastal Florida for most of the week, the skies over Kennedy Space Center stayed clear and offered the perfect window of opportunity for one of the biggest actors in today’s movie scene to jam on stage in front of thousands of adoring fans.  Kennedy Space Center, in conjunction with Netflix, put on a rare show free to the public on August 2nd in the Rocket Garden.  The show featured the Bruce Willis Blues Band, along with a special screening of Willis’ hit movie Armageddon, filmed at the center in 1998.

Despite the mud, muck and humidity, fans of all ages started pouring into the space center by the thousands for a rare glimpse at the film icon.  It was an impressive set up, with robot cameras zooming over the crowds as the sound check started.  Much to everyone’s surprise, Willis joined other musicians on stage to help in the sound check, giving a rare treat to early birds who packed in to get an up close and personal view of the star.  Crowds cheered and danced as Willis and the band performed the Rolling Stones hit “Paint It Black” during the sound check.

Gavin P Smith - Journalism | Photography - Bruce Willis Blues Band - Netflix Event - Kennedy Space Center 2006

After a few more tweaks, Willis returned to his bus to prepare for the show.  Meanwhile, promotional clips of Armageddon played on the jumbo screen on stage.  As the rocket garden packed in for the 7pm show, fans began chanting for Willis to appear.  Appearing on stage to introduce Willis and his band was host Maria Menounos, a special correspondent for the TV show Access Hollywood and a West Coast contributor for NBC’s Today Show.  After a couple of the usual announcements, Willis and his band mates emerged from a rocket platform off to the side of the crowd.

Willis hit the stage dressed in a black suit jacket, black hat, black tie and sunglasses, looking like one of the Blues Brothers.  Willis jammed on harmonica, sang, and even played various other instruments throughout the show.  The band performed just over an hour of original blues music for the crowd.  It was the first time Willis had been back to the Kennedy Space Center since the filming of Armageddon almost a decade ago.

Although a prominent actor, Willis is no stranger to the music scene.  He was a musician long before he became an actor.  His blues band is comprised of musicians hand-picked by Willis, and has been together performing for almost ten years.

While the crowd wasn’t quite as large as the 7,000 expected attendees, it was certainly a good 60-75% of that number by the time the show was in full swing.  Netflix, the producer of the event, puts on several high profile shows each summer billed as Netflix LIVE! On Location.  The series pairs a free screening of a pop-culture movie classic with a live musical performance by one of the films’ featured stars in locations uniquely associated with the movies. The Bruce Willis Blues Band performance was the third and final show of the season following an appearance by Dennis Quaid in New Orleans and an appearance with the Bacon Brothers (featuring Kevin Bacon) in Baltimore.

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