On a day that saw unimaginable horror inflicted upon Ukrainian prisoners of war in multiple locations, and wanton terrorism unleashed yet again upon the civilian populace of Ukraine, a momentary respite from the grinding, dreadful reality of life under siege was found, at least for the citizens of Kharkiv.
In the concrete confines of a subterranean bunker turned art gallery and cultural center, excitement began to percolate in the late summer afternoon as an appearance by American Air Force Veteran turned singing sensation, Mark J. Lindquist, was scheduled to kick off the last weekend in July.
Free pizza and beverages were waiting for attendees, who conversed in an exciting mixture of Ukrainian, English, and the local Kharkivian dialect while mingling and taking in the scene.
Upon the arrival of the evening’s VIP guests, wounded heroes of Ukraine’s battle for liberty, the lights dimmed and the arrangement began.
Lindquist, who performed with the backing of the Kharkiv Fortress Big Band, created a set list in conjunction with renowned Ukrainian musical maestro, Serhiy Davydoz, and brought modern panache to multiple Sinatra standards, along with rousing performances of the Ukrainian national anthem and Star Spangled Banner.
During an almost two-hour run time, Lindquist’s infectious energy pulsed through the crowd, while his radiant smile throughout showed his absolute joy in bringing happiness to the masses, despite being at the physical frontlines of a nation’s battle against Russian terrorism and Putin’s war criminals.
As the show wound down, Lindquist and the band emerged for two encores, prolonging the air of the normalcy that had been missing in the Iron City since the 24th of February.
At the conclusion of the festivities, it was apparent with both the announcement of strong fundraising numbers and the line of adoring fans that amassed to take photos with Lindquist, that the night exceeded expectations and left everyone feeling alive, invigorated, and ready to continue the fight against the evil of Russo fascism.
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