Darius Rucker Rocks Richmond at Innsbrook After Hours

Darius Rucker

Darius Rucker

Newly appointed Grand Ole Opry member and front man of Hootie and the Blowfish, Darius Rucker performed to a sold out crowd at Richmond’s Innsbrook After Hours concert series. The Thursday, September 6 performance at the Snagajob Pavilion just snagged its place at the top of my list of best concerts ever.

Brinn Black opened for Darius Rucker at Innsbrook After Hours

Brinn Black opened for Darius Rucker at Innsbrook After Hours.

Brinn Black, a Chester, Virginia girl, opened the show. She performed a couple of her own singles, including “Crushin” and “Should have been us.” Both are really good. You should run out and buy them right now. She also did a great cover of Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise.”

As Brinn was performing, this very cool thing happened …

There's nothing like a hot air balloon to steal the show.

There’s nothing like a hot air balloon to steal the show.

Darius Rucker performed most 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 include “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.”

All together now.

All together now.

In between songs, Darius entertained the audience by talking about football, songwriting and his love of the south. But mostly, he sang. And that is a very good thing because Darius can certainly sing. He performed the entire hour and a half show without taking a break. Several people, including my child, almost missed “Wagon Wheel” because they decided they needed a potty break.

I knew “Wagon Wheel” would most likely be the last song of the night. Always save the best for last, right? Darius sang his “final” song and then exited the stage. Not more than five minutes later, he came back onstage to thundering applause and performed the hit song that I (and apparently everybody else) had been waiting for. Then, he ended the night with a perfectly wonderful cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain.”

He also paid homage to his Hootie cohorts with “Only Wanna be with you,” “Let her Cry” and “Hold my Hand.”

One of my favorite parts of the night was when Darius took off his hat, signed it and then tossed it out into the crowd.

Signing the hat.

Signing the hat.

Who wants the hat?

Who wants the hat?

Tossing the hat.

Tossing the hat.

I have a disclaimer to make about my photos. You know that ad where the girl is at a concert and takes all of these cool and up-close photos of the band and then posts them to make her friends jealous, and then the camera pans out and she is actually really far back in the crowd and is using her 41 megapixel Nokia Lumia to take the shots. Well, that is what I needed for this. That’s not really a hint in case anybody is wondering.

We were fairly far back and my Nikon actually did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself. By the way, when my husband and I first saw that commercial, we both yelled “41 megapixels??!!!” Anyway, here are the photos.

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Hank Williams Jr.’s “Family Tradition

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Darius Rucker

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Darius Rucker

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Darius Rucker

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“Southern State of Mind”

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Darius Rucker

Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation

I always like to get a little background information on my subject matter. This usually involves spending crazy amounts of time reading things online and forgetting what I’m supposed to be doing. In this particular case of abstract distraction, I found out about the 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, which, along with lead vocals by Darius, consists of Mark Bryan on drums, Dean Felber on Piano and Jim Sonefeld on guitar. 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.

Here’s another thing I learned: The 1994 album “Cracked Rear View” by Hootie & the Blowfish is the 15th best-selling album of all time in the U.S. Wow. I knew there was I reason I bought that album.

Check out all you’ll ever need to know about Darius Rucker at DariusRucker.com.

Rock on.

 

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