Monday, September 28, 2015

The Dallas Clark effect

By Abigail Pelzer

September 28, 2015

Well, I’m going to have to go to the Blake Shelton concert at Kinnick Stadium, even though I can’t name a single song of his.

You could call that the Dallas Clark effect.

Widely known and loved as a former Iowa Hawkeye standout, pro football star and all-around amazing guy, he’s got me on board for a country music concert. Well played, Dallas.

While I have an eclectic taste for music, including some classic country artists, I’m just not a lover of the country genre. Sure, I’ve dabbled. Everyone did, thanks to Garth Brooks. I also really liked the Dixie Chicks and even attended their concert, clad in my cowgirl boots. (Real boots, used for horseback riding, not simply a prop to convey my taste in music.)

Back to Dallas Clark. It all started Sept. 19 in Iowa City. Aside from the 57-yard field goal for the win and the 3-0 record that had eluded us since 2009, there was another piece of notable news — Kinnick Stadium will, for the first time ever, host a music concert in 2016.

Clark delivered the news via a video displayed on the Jumbotron, but didn’t name the artist. I believe this is what’s called “creating a buzz.” Dallas returned to the big screen this past Saturday to announce that Blake Shelton, a big-deal country musician and TV personality on “The Voice,” will headline the concert.

Last week when I found the Iowa City Press-Citizen news article “Mystery concert coming to Kinnick Stadium in 2016” I immediately posted it to Facebook with a disclaimer. “I’m going — unless it’s a country artist. Then I’m not going.”

The speculation began instantly. Who would be able to pack a crowd into Kinnick?

Of course my post did lend itself to what kind of music would highlight the event. Everyone figured it would be a country musician.

I happened to be in attendance Saturday as Iowa crushed North Texas. But I missed Dallas Clark’s announcement. I read about it Sunday morning, and I was moved. This isn’t just about music.

Clark has created the Native Fund, a nonprofit that aims to helps Iowans dealing with the aftermath of natural disasters and also assists Iowa youth and military veterans. The charity will fill the gaps between what’s available from government agencies and others and help Iowans when they need it the most.

Now that’s cool. It also serves as a firm example of what a class act Dallas Clark is.
Also involved — Iowa natives Ashton Kutcher and Zach Johnson.

So, despite the razz I received on social media about Blake Shelton and country coming to my beloved stadium, I am intrigued.
Looks like it’s time to dust off my boots, I’ve got a country music concert to hit at Kinnick Stadium.

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