Commentary: Daly Days Big Hit

Arkansas fans packed the AMP as the Daly Days concert raised a big chunk of money for Northwest Arkansas charities. The event organizers did a superb job.

Shannon and Mark Shelton, the organizers of the event, should be proud of the Daly Days concert Friday night. It was out of this world. I'm not a concert person, but this thing was done in a wonderful way. Most concerts are not parties, but this one was a bangup party.

They sold out the AMP with 3,200 folks. All of the high-dollar VIP tables were sold, too. Everyone should be proud of what was accomplished at the event. Also, a bunch of money was raised for Katrina victims as people dropped money in boxes as they entered. They also packed 16 18-wheelers with food, water and cold at the parking lot to be sent to south Louisiana.

I missed some of the early stuff because I was doing a radio remote in Benton County with Chuck Barrett's SportsRap call-in show until 8 p.m. Got there about 8:20 p.m. to see the last part of Johnny Lee's gig. Then said Edwin McCain and Hootie and the Blowfish perform. Both were high quality acts. Darius Rucker is much better live than I ever could have thought. A very good singer. I didn't know McCain's work by name, but recognized several of his songs. He can really sing, too.

The real winner last night was the John Daly Charitable Foundation and several other NW Arkansas charities. The UA golf program also received a nice chunk of money.

The happiest guy there was Frank Broyles. He danced and waved his tamborine (sp?) as each act got into his gig. He danced and stood and had a lot of fun when Hootie and the Blowfish performed. Daly, who you could see in the background on stage with each act, was laughing so hard at Frank that he was crying. Frank told John, "Who is Hootie?" early in the night. Later, he said, "Hootie is awesome. We couldn't have had a bettah band."

Daly did a nice job when he sang a couple of tunes. Of course, the band and background singers were top notch and he took advantage of that to passionately sing, "Knocking on Heaven's Door." Brought the house down. I think he had tears in his eyes at the end of that song. He also joined in as all the acts came together to sing David Alan Coe's classic, "You don't have to call me Darlin, Darlin." Pretty cool as most of the audience knew it and joined in. As you'd guess, the band let it rip and it was one of the night's highlights.

As most know, Daly and his buddy, Johnny Lee, will do the national anthem tonight. Lee told him, "Don't start before me, don't finish after me, and don't try to re-invent the song." Good advide. They'll probably do great.

Daly was emotional throughout the night. His father was in the audience and he told him he loved him several times. He also pointed to Coach Broyles to tell him the same thing several times. Just before the last act, Daly went to the stage to lead the crowd in the Hog Call. It was as loud as anything I've ever heard.

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