Eighty-two year old Navy veteran John Hetlinger caught the attention of the world with his passionate performance of Drowning Pool‘s rock anthem ‘Bodies‘ on America’s Got Talent earlier this summer. Hetlinger, a retired aerospace manager shocked the judges and impressed headbangers worldwide when he performed his favorite karaoke track on the popular NBC competition show in June.
The video of Hetlinger’s performance quickly went viral — now with more than 8.3 million views — and brought new attention to the multi-platinum rock band Drowning Pool as the band was touring in support of their latest album, Hellelujah, earlier this year.
In the wake of the viral sensation, both Hetlinger and Drowning Pool received a shot of media attention during which the band was asked about the possibility of inviting Hetlinger to perform ‘Bodies’ live at some point. Guitarist CJ Pierce was quick to tweet that Hetlinger would be welcome to join the band on stage.
With Chicago Open Air this weekend, fans of Drowning Pool and the 82-year-old veteran headbanger will finally get their wish. Hetlinger will join Drowning Pool on stage at Chicago Open Air during their 2 pm set on Friday July 15th.
“I am really amped-up to see y’all when Drowning Pool and I join you in Chicago this Friday afternoon for the Chicago Open Air festival,” said Hetlinger of the opportunity. “We are going to have a blast together — let the bodies hit the floor!”
Watch Hetlinger’s now famous rendition of ‘Bodies’ on America’s Got Talent:
Chicago Open Air is a three-day music, craft beer and food festival being held July 15-17 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL, just outside Chicago. Other performers this weekend include headliners Rammstein, Disturbed and Slipknot, with additional performances from Chevelle, Korn, Five Finger Death Punch, Ministry, Breaking Benjamin, Marilyn Manson, Of Mice & Men and many more.
For Drowning Pool, this weekend will give the band another opportunity to show support to veterans… a cause drummer Mike Luce explained is important to the Dallas-based group.
“It’s been an honor for us to play for our military every chance we’ve had,” said Luce. “On rare occasions, servicemen have joined us onstage here and there, but one thing’s for sure — we’ve never shared the stage with an 82-year-old Navy veteran & aerospace manager crushing ‘Bodies.’ It’s gonna be crazy throwing down with him!”
Drowning Pool has volunteered with the USO for 11 years and has incredibly strong family ties to the military. Guitarist C.J. Pierce’s father-in-law also served in the Navy, bassist Stevie Benton’s father is a Vietnam veteran and drummer Mike Luce’s brother currently serves. As a result of those personal connections, the band has entertained more than 22,000 service members on 14 military bases in five countries, to date, traveling with the USO to the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Iraq and Kuwait.
If you miss their performance at Chicago Open Air, Drowning Pool has several additional performance dates lined up this summer:
7/15 – Bridgeview, IL @ Toyota Park – Chicago Open Air
7/16 – Mansfield, OH @ Ohio State Reformatory – Ink in the Clink
8/4 – Columbus, MN @ Running Aces Casino & Racetrack – Make America Rock Again
8/6 – Sturgis, SD @ Iron Horse Saloon
8/13 – Brownfield, TX @ 4B Wild West Bike Rally
8/14 – Detroit, MI @ Chene Park – Make America Rock Again
8/19 – Glen Flora, WI @ The Northwoods Rock Rally
8/20 – Ironton, OH @ Rally on the River
8/25 – Fairbanks, AK @ Carlson Center – w/ Buckcherry
8/26 – Anchorage, AK @ Alaska Airlines Center – w/ Buckcherry
8/27 – Soldotna, AK @ Sport Center in Soldotna – w/ Buckcherry
9/10 – Moline, IL @ iWireless Center – Make America Rock Again
For more information, visit www.ChicagoOpenAir.com. For tickets, please visit this location.
For more information on Drowning Pool, please visit:
Cover photo provided by publicist.