Five for Fighting’s John Ondrasik played the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano last night. It was a great show, featuring key tracks from his new CD Slice plus his best known songs from a long and very successful career, and made all the more so by the presence in the audience of Augie and Lynn Nietto. Augie Nietto is a pioneering entrepreneur in the fitness business, co-inventor of the Life Cycle and now the force behind Augie’s Quest, which is Nietto’s drive to further research into cures for ALS, the disease which struck Nietto five years ago.
Ondrasik and Nietto are friends, and when the singer told the businessman’s story from the stage the crowd gave Augie an ovation, applauding of course his courage, which is first among the human virtues to inspire genuine admiration. Ondrasik also played his salute to the troops, Freedom Isn’t Free, which is always a feature of his concerts, and not just the USO-organized performances he does for military. CD for the Troops IV will be out shortly, which is also Ondrasik-driven effort.
In an age when so many performers are as often known for their rehabs or their rants as for their music or their acting, John Ondrasik is a fine example of the scores of them who quietly advance many good causes even as their art entertains and even inspires.
And Augie Nietto is one of the best examples of how to live even in the face of enormous physical challenges.