On Thursday, September 6, 2013, Darius Rucker performed to a packed crowd at Richmond’s Innsbrook After Hours. Snagajob Pavilion rocked the night away to the sounds of Rucker’s unique blend of country, pop and rock. It was the perfect night for an outdoor concert under the stars.
The multi-generation group of concert-goers featured families, couples, singles, grandparents, a group of tweens having a birthday (I know because they had a sign) and even a couple on their fifth day as Richmonders, having just relocated to Richmond from Michigan, all enjoying the Hootie & the Blowfish front man’s exceptional vocal and guitar skills. My nine-year-old had a great time. “Wagon Wheel” is about the only country song that she considers cool, so I think we did well for her first concert.
Nashville recording artist Brinn Black, from Chester, Virginia, opened the show with a couple of her own singles, “Crushin” and “Should have been us,” and performed a great cover of Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise.” By this time, the place was getting packed. Concerts at Innsbrook After Hours are casual and laid-back, and the lawn section was a tight but comfortable group last night.
Darius Rucker performed most all of his major hits as well as a couple that were new to me. My favorites of the night were “This,” “True Believers” and “It won’t be like this for Long.” Others in the play list included “Come Back Song,” “Alright,” “Southern State of Mind,” “Heartbreak Road,” Hank Williams Jr.’s “Family Tradition,” “All I Want” and “Don’t Think I don’t Think About it.”
With all of the success of Hootie & the Blowfish, it would be nearly impossible to have a concert without playing at least one of their hits, and he played three. “Only Wanna be with you,” “Let her Cry” and “Hold my Hand” sounded just as good as they did 19 years ago (I just might be giving away my age with that little fact).
“Wagon Wheel” was the encore performance. Why not save the best for last? Darius followed up with a perfect cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain.” This was one of those surprising kinds of moments, totally unexpected but completely wonderful.
Darius Rucker is a brand new addition to the legendary Grand Ole Opry. His current album, True Believers, which features "Wagon Wheel," "Heartbreak Road" and "True Believers," is available on Capitol Records at Amazon.com.
Hootie & the Blowfish
I was, and still am, a very big fan of Darius’ original group. Therefore, I find it necessary to make mention of the rest of the guys and say that they do still perform together. The rest of the Hootie group includes Mark Bryan on guitar, Dean Felber on bass and Jim "Soni" Sonefeld on drums. The guys first got together in 1986 at the University of South Carolina. The 1994 album “Cracked Rear View” is the 15th best-selling album of all time in the U.S.
Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation
Created in 2000, the Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation supports charities that are near and dear to the members of the band. Their main focus is on fighting for funding for public education in South Carolina. More than $1.8 million has been donated to many causes that include building community learning centers, outfitting school marching bands and providing educators with the tools they need to develop the talents of children and to help them succeed.
Please visit SomewhereInTheSand.com for more on Darius Rucker’s concert at Innsbrook After Hours.
Innsbrook After Hours
The summer time sound of Innsbrook After Hours is not yet over. Upcoming concerts include Montgomery Gentry and the Beach Boys featuring Mike Love and Bruce Johnston. Please visit InnsbrookAfterHours.com for more information and to purchase tickets.