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The sky was pitch black and the wind was bitter cold, but the Ryman Auditorium was warm and sparkling and the stars were . . . well, blue for the Stars Go Blue for Colon Cancer benefit in Nashville Wednesday night (March 20).
Craig Campbell opened the evening with a too-brief 30-minute set that included his hits "Family Man" and "Fish," along with his hot new single, "Outta My Head."
After a poignant introduction from Alan Jackson's wife, Denise, a cancer survivor herself, Alan took the stage for a show cram-packed with signature songs such as "Gone Country," "Don't Rock the Jukebox," "Chasin' That Neon Rainbow" and "Small Town Southern Man." A few songs in, Alan paused to address the packed auditorium, saying, "I know this evening is about a serious thing, but we're going to try to have fun with it."
And there was fun—from AJ pitching T-shirts and guitar picks from the stage to fans in the balcony, to him relaying personal stories of his family. In fact, youngest daughter Dani was spotted with a group of friends singing along to daddy's "Little Bitty."
Only once did the evening take on a more serious note, when Alan performed "When I Saw You Leaving"—a song he wrote after Denise's diagnosis—at his wife's request.
All proceeds from the Stars Go Blue for Colon Cancer benefit go to the Blue Note Fund, a great cause which provides financial support to those going through treatment for colorectal cancer. The effort was organized by Charlie Kelley, husband of GAC's Nan Kelley, following his own cancer diagnosis.