Define Combat Zone

After performing in over 100 countries, San Diego-based Liquid Blue thought they might have a world record. The band spent months researching the possibility of getting their accomplishment certified. After checking combos known for their stature and longevity, Liquid Blue band members were certain their entry into The Guinness Book of World Records would be a formality.

The group made contact with Guinness and got as far as filling out “tons of paperwork. They go out of their way to verify what someone is stating,” says front man Scott Stephens. Despite proof of their claim, the band was excluded from the Guinness Book on a technicality.

“We could not count your [military] concerts,” said Guinness researcher Scott Christie in an email to the band. “As with all our concert records, we need to see that these [shows] were open to the general public.”

“We thought it was ludicrous,” says Stephens. He points out that some countries the band performed in – such as Saudi Arabia and Palestine – allowed their performances only for the benefit of military personnel. “It doesn’t make sense – we’re there, we play, you would think it’d count.”

According to Stephens, USO shows make up 25 percent of the group’s touring schedule, with corporate gigs and cruises also a regular part of their road trips. Two other record-keeping organizations with less stringent reporting policies than Guinness (the Registry of Official World Records and Open Record Book) have accepted the band’s record for their listings.

Liquid Blue is signed in China, where they have a large fan base for their original tunes. In January, the band performed in Beijing for the opening Olympic ceremonies – part of their set was in Chinese.

“That’s been our secret to getting to so many places,” Stephen says. “We adapt.”

The band plans to add North Korea and Iran to their list of concert locations as soon as is feasible.

“We do end up in a lot of places that some might consider dangerous, but really, it’s no more so than driving through East Los Angeles.”

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Iran and Korea, eh? The tour shirts should read "Axis of Evil Tour '08". I'd like to hear about both those shows if they happen, and what they were like. Pretty interesting.

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