Although the pain from the devastation was still palpable, the sold-out crowd at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater put aside their worries for a few hours last night for a very special evening of Kenny Chesney’s ‘Goin’ Coastal’ Tour. Chesney, his management and booking representatives donated all fees and earnings from the show to the tornado relief charity, GiveTuscaloosa.com.
Chesney started the day with lunch with University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban who personally relayed his experiences of the tragedy. Saban’s Charity Fund, Nick’s Kids, has donated $50,000 to Project Team Up to help victims through the recovery process and to help rebuild the 11% of homes in Tuscaloosa that were destroyed by the tornadoes. To learn more about how you can help and/or to donate money go to www.projectteamup.com.
Before the show, Chesney met with Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox who thanked him for his donation to GiveTuscaloosa.com. Mayor Maddox said, “We refuse to let April 27th define our future and this is another step forward to a new tomorrow. On behalf of the City of Tuscaloosa, I want to thank Kenny and his team for their generosity and compassion. It is the kindness of others that will carry us through as we rebuild Tuscaloosa.”
During the show, friend, songwriter, musician and Alabama native Mac McAnally joined Chesney on stage for “Back Where I Come From” and “Down The Road,” a 2 week # 1 single for Chesney, both written by McAnally. Currently on tour with Jimmy Buffet as part of the Coral Reefer band, McAnally made the trip to Tuscaloosa on a rare night off to take part in show.
Of the day Chesney said, “I’m so honored to have played Tuscaloosa tonight. This town has always been incredible to me and they are really hurting now. I didn’t know if we were doing the right thing by doing the show but after tonight I am convinced that this town needed something to look forward to and I am so glad we played tonight. The highlight for me was singing the Alabama song “My Home’s In Alabama”. It was as emotional of a moment that we have ever had on stage.”